Gosport boat passenger killed when businessman ‘showed off’ piloting tender at ‘high speed’, jury told

A PASSENGER on a boat was killed when a successful businessman ‘showed off’ piloting the tender at ‘high speed’ before ‘violently’ crashing into a motor cruiser, jurors were told.

Sitting on the front of the rigid inflatable boat Ryan McKinlay, 36, of Gosport, ‘had no chance’ when he hit into the swimming platform at the rear of the larger 62ft boat, prosecutor Nick Tucker said.

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown

Jurors were played footage of the 30mph crash recorded by the dad-of-one’s wife Fran was standing at the rear of the boat recording him on a friend’s mobile phone.

Another video, shown at the top of this page, shows Paul Carey - who had been hired as a day skipper for the outing - directing the boat, a while before the incident happened.

The driver of the ‘quick and agile’ tender, Mr McKinlay’s friend of 20 years, Aaron Brown, chief operating officer at OneCom, is on trial accused of the gross negligence manslaughter.

He is accused of driving the boat too fast and too close to the True Blue, a Fairline Targa 62ft cabin cruiser, causing the death of Mr McKinlay in June 19, 2015, in Osborne Bay off the Isle of Wight.

Ryan McKinlay

Ryan McKinlay

Mr Tucker told jurors the boat had ‘violently’ swung left as it approached on a ‘collision course’ to the the rear right section of the larger boat, despite Brown ‘desperately’ trying to steer away.

Mr McKinlay hits into the swimming platform as Brown is ‘catapulted over him literally head over heels,’ Mr Tucker said.

Winchester Crown Court heard several friends and associates, including ex-Pompey player Lee Bradbury and professional footballer Lee Molyneaux, were on the True Blue for a party, having set off from Swanwick Marina at 2.30pm.

Brown, who had been trained to a Royal Yachting Association level two in power boating, had led a champagne toast on the larger boat, which housed the rigid inflatable boat (Rib) in a garage, before they arrived in Osborne Bay at around 4pm.

True Blue. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

True Blue. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

After arriving, Paul Carey had been taking out passengers on the Williams Turbojet 325, driving close to the boat, spraying passengers, video shown to the jury showed.

The court heard Brown then took over from Mr Carey, who is also on trial, taking Mr McKinlay out on the tender.

Mr Tucker said: ‘Within the hour Aaron Brown had taken over from Mr Carey at the helm of the rib.

‘Ryan McKinlay was a passenger.

A map showing the movements of the boats. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

A map showing the movements of the boats. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

‘Mr McKinlay was sitting up front.

‘By this stage is seemed the interest with the antics had waned.

‘Those on the True Blue were paying little attention.

‘But Mrs McKinlay decided to use a friend’s mobile phone while watching the action.

‘She recorded the Rib as it approached the True Blue starboard right-hand quarter at speed.

He added: ‘The helm loses grip and the boat begins to skid across the water, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s part of the design that they may skid across the water.

‘But at this point it’s going very quickly towards the True Blue and is quite close, and so Mr Brown apparently realises a collision is likely and he can be seen, with slowed-down footage, desperately trying to steer away from the True Blue swimming platform.

‘Mr McKinlay, sitting at the front, had no chance, the swimming platform hit him with such force in the chest and he was propelled into the water.’

He added: ‘Aaron Brown was catapulted into the air, landing on the swimming platform, remarkably escaping with minor injuries.

Party-goers rushed to give Mr McKinlay, who had landed face down in the water, CPR but he was not resuscitated.

Gosport lifeboat arrived 15 minutes later and Mr McKinlay was airlifted to St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, where he was pronounced dead at 6.31pm.

Brown, 34, Botley Road, Curdridge, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.

Carey, 52, of Chatsworth Road, Southampton, denies failing to proceed at safe speed while driving the Williams Turbojet 325 earlier in the afternoon.

‘We say it was just good luck on his part that he is not the one on trial for manslaughter,’ Mr Tucker said.

Outlining the case, Mr Tucker said: ‘The collision occurred because Mr Brown inadvertently dove that boat into the rear of another vessel at high speed.

‘He is charged with manslaughter by reason of gross negligence.

‘The prosecution say that Ryan McKinlay would not have died that day had Mr Brown not driven the boat so fast in such close proximity to another vessel.

‘Paul Carey, the second defendant, is in the dock as prior to the collision he was driving the same boat at speed, which we say were unsafe and which contributed to a climate in which Mr Brown was encouraged to do the same.’

Three days after the incident Brown gave a prepared statement to police at Southampton police station.