Schoolgirl, 15, begged 'I just want to go home' as she lay dying after skipper 'crashed speedboat into massive buoy' | The Sun

A TRAGIC schoolgirl begged "I just want to go home" after the speedboat she was on crashed into a buoy, a court heard.

Emily Lewis suffered "unsurvivable" injuries when the inflatable boat (RIB) smashed into the structure at 42.2mph in Southampton.

The 15-year-old was crushed against a metal handle after skipper Michael Lawrence failed to see the "massive" buoy for 14 seconds, jurors heard.

Her sister Amy, then aged 18, told Winchester Crown Court today about Emily's heart-breaking "last words" as she lay dying.

She said the teen begged "I just want to go home, I just want to go home" while she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Reliving the horror, she said: "We were going forward for 20 seconds then hit something. I had no idea that the buoy I had just seen was what we hit, I had no idea we were about to hit something.

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"I saw Emily on the ground, she was hunched over, her hoop had gone straight into her stomach.

"I heard Emily say 'I can't breathe', she was not very well as she was closing her eyes, we kept asking Emily 'what's wrong? speak to us'."

The court was told the group were taken back to shore where Emily "woke up and started screaming" she could not see.

Amy added: "Emily said 'everyone get off me' but nobody was touching her, she was claustrophobic, I think it was because everything was collapsing inside of her."

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Emily was taken to hospital along with ten others but sadly couldn't be saved.

Amy said: "I asked dad 'what's happened to Emily, is she going to die?

"Dad started crying, dad doesn't cry so I knew she was going to die.

"I was very scared but I wanted to see her… There were 10 doctors in around her and I said goodbye to her and I gave her a kiss."

Emily's parents Simon and Nikki Lewis had decided to take their daughters for the speedboat ride in August 2020 as a post-lockdown treat.

Jurors heard Lawrence was either distracted or miscalculated a sharp turn around the buoy.

He is accused of recklessly taking risks by performing daring stunts before he ploughed into the huge metal buoy.

Emily's mum Nikki told the court how she felt unsafe while on the 60-minute journey with her family.

The mum said Lawrence took corners "too sharply" and was going "too fast".

She revealed she managed to relax a little as the boat maintained a straight line moments before hitting the buoy.

Nikki added: "All I remember was hitting something, I don't remember seeing the buoy.

"The next thing I knew was Amy screaming.

"I had shot forward at an angle, my arm broke and I was turned around, I was skewed on the floor. I was slumped and I was in so much pain, I was numb.

"I looked for Emily, she was on the floor: 'OMG, she's blue'.

"Amy was screaming 'help my sister, help my sister'.

"I remember the skipper on the phone saying 'I've had a bad one mate'. He was walking down the boat."

The mum claimed Lawrence "didn't do anything for me and my family".

She recalled how Emily was "freaked out" so she kept telling her daughter to "stay with us".

When paramedics arrived, Nikki told jurors she was stillconvinced her daughter was not going to die.

Tragically, the teen's fate dawned on her as they arrived at hospital.

She said: "She had lost so much blood they could not get her blood pressure up.

"It was not Emily. She had lost so much oxygen, her brain was starved of oxygen. She was not going to gain anything."

Prosecutors claim Lawrence's driving was "extremely dangerous" and his actions were "truly exceptionally bad".

The skipper – nicknamed "Mr Safe" – claimed a Covid mask blew up and blocked his vision before later claiming he suffered vision loss.

He denies manslaughter by gross negligence, failure to maintain a proper lookout as master of the boat, and failing to proceed at a safe speed while operating the boat.

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Seadogz Rib Charter Ltd owner Michael Howley, 52, also denies a safety charge.

The trial continues.



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