Hired skipper cleared of driving boat too fast before fatal accident

A hired skipper has been acquitted of driving too fast in a powerful jet-powered boat on the same day that it was involved in an accident which killed a father-of-one.

Paul Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, was found not guilty at Winchester Crown Court of a charge of driving a rigid inflatable boat (Rib) in contravention of Merchant Shipping regulations.

Ryan McKinlay, a father-of-one from Gosport, Hampshire, died following the accident in Osborne Bay off the Isle of Wight on June 19 2015.

Mr Carey was a defendant alongside Aaron Brown, chief operating officer of telecoms firm OneCom, who was driving the Rib at the time of the accident and who is charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 36-year-old, which he denies.

The jury was sent home by Judge Keith Cutler to continue its deliberations in relation to Brown on Wednesday.

Judge Cutler told Mr Carey: "I am sure you are relieved you are no longer subject to the charge. You retain your good character."

The court heard that Brown had been driving the Williams Turbojet 325 Rib at up to 35mph, when it crashed into the 62ft Fairline Targa cabin cruiser.

The 34-year-old defendant, of Botley Road, Curbridge, has told the court that the Rib failed to turn as he attempted to avoid the cruiser, named True Blue, but admitted that in hindsight he had been driving "too quick".