Warsash navigator in critical condition as colleague dies in powerboat accident

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A POWERBOAT navigator from Warsash is recovering in hospital after a crash during a race off the coast of Dorset.

Dan Whapples, originally from Warsash, was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital, where he is being treated for critical injuries, not thought to be life-threatening.

His colleague Mike Lovell, who was driving the powerboat, died from the injuries he sustained from yesterday’s incident.

The pair, from Southampton, had been taking part in the national powerboat racing championships organised by P1 Superstock in Weymouth Bay.

But their boat barrel-rolled and the pair needed to be rescued from the water near Weymouth Town Beach and the harbour.

They were then airlifted to hospital.

A statement on P1 Superstocks’s website reads: ‘Overnight Mike Lovell sadly succumbed to his injuries.

‘Dan Whapples is in a serious but stable condition.

‘A further statement will be issued when more details are available.

‘Our thoughts are with the whole powerboat community and particularly with Mike and Dan’s family and friends.’

Shelley Jory-Leigh, from BBC Radio Solent’s H20 show, had been commentating and saw what happened.

The former powerboating world champion said: ‘Unfortunately the boat just got caught up in the wash of the other boats – that’s what happens with powerboat racing – and it barrel-rolled.

‘The drivers got thrown clear of the boat. It’s like a Formula 1 car spinning off.’

A report has been made to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.