Skipper denies manslaughter in Southampton speedboat accident | UK News
The captain of a speedboat involved in an accident in which a 15-year-old girl was killed has denied manslaughter in court.
It is alleged that Michael Lawrence was steering the boat at the time of the August 2020 incident, in which Emily Lewis suffered fatal injuries when the vessel collided with a five-tonne navigational buoy.
Emily was on the boat, Seadogz, with her mother Nikki, father Simon, sister Amy, 19, and seven other passengers.
Appearing at Southampton Magistrates Court, Lawrence, 54, pleaded not guilty to gross negligence manslaughter.
Michael Howley, the owner of Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd, which organized the trip on Southampton Water, was accused of ‘failing to take all reasonable steps to secure the boat being operated in a safe manner’.
Howley, 51, from Hordlein Hampshire, faces another charge of failing to take reasonable steps as a director of the company. He gave no plea but indicated that he would plead not guilty to all charges.
District Judge Anthony Callaway returned the case to Winchester Crown Court and released both defendants on outright bail until a hearing on March 2.
Emily’s family previously said in a statement released by Hampshire Police: “We are all in shock that our beautiful daughter and sister are no longer with us, and words simply do not seem available to express our deepest sense of loss.”
Stuart Parkes, the principal of the Brookfield Community School where Emily was a pupil, described her as “kind, compassionate” and a “bright and conscientious pupil”.