Warsash sailor ‘improving’ after undergoing surgery

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A POWERBOAT navigator from Warsash is said to be improving after a crash during a race off the coast of Dorset in which a man died.

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

Last night he underwent surgery and his condition is described by medics as ‘stable and improving’.

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

The pair 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 paid tribute to Mr Lovell.

It said: ‘A close racing colleague described Mike as a talented mechanic, always keen to learn and develop, who jumped at the chance to be involved in amateur powerboat racing.

‘Mike’s team-mate, Dan Whapples has undergone surgery today at Southampton General Hospital, where he is reported to be in a stable condition.’

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