The bodies of two missing people were recovered from Roadford Lake near Okehampton in Devon on Thursday, about 24 hours after the search began when the boat capsized
Image: DevonLive/BPM MEDIA)
Police have launched an inquiry after two disabled people reportedly died “strapped in wheelchairs” on a capsized motorboat in Devon.
The bodies of two missing people were recovered from Roadford Lake near Okehampton in Devon on Thursday, about 24 hours after the search began when the boat capsized.
A third person, a woman in her 50s, remains in critical condition at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
Devon and Cornwall Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch have now opened parallel investigations into the incident. The MAIB previously said the motorboat was carrying “two disabled people”.
The force said they were also in close contact with HM Coroner to await a “complex investigation”.
Superintendent Toby Davies of Devon & Cornwall Police said: “This was a tragic incident in which two people lost their lives.
“We continue to support all families involved with the deployment of specialist family liaison officers and our thoughts remain with these families at this difficult time.
“The parallel investigations will examine the circumstances of the incident involving the MAIB and identify ways to prevent a similar incident in the future.
“These inquiries have already made contact with HM Coroner and we expect this to progress further over the next week.”
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) declined to comment on reports that the victims were in wheelchairs at the time or whether investigators would check if they were strapped into the boat and wearing flotation devices.
A spokesman said: “Our investigation is at an early stage and our current focus is on gathering as much evidence as possible.
“This includes everything from the events of the day to the design and construction of the boat.
“We are conducting a safety investigation aimed at determining the circumstances and causes of the accident and identifying ways to prevent a similar accident in the future.
“All lines of investigation are open and under investigation.
“It’s too early in the investigation to say more, but we can assure everyone that if we determine the need for urgent safety alerts, these will be issued immediately.”
In a statement released prior to the discovery of the two bodies, the MAIB said: “Motor vessel capsized on Roadford Lake in Devon, England.
“The ship had six occupants on board, four were rescued, but two disabled people are still unreported.”
It was also suspected that two people on the boat were “strapped in wheelchairs”.
A source previously told Metro: “The two missing persons were strapped into their wheelchairs.
“It’s a salvage job for the police divers. They wouldn’t have had a chance.”
The alarm was raised when the boat capsized around 1.30pm on Wednesday with six people on board.
Two people have been taken to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital, one of whom is in critical condition while the other has been discharged.
The other two were pulled from the water and checked by paramedics before being released at the scene.
Everyone in the boat is believed to be from Devon, investigators said.
The South West Lakes Trust, which runs Roadford Lake near Dartmoor, said its on-site activity center would be closed until further notice.
Roadford Lake Sailing Club said: “Our thoughts are also with the staff at the center who have made some heroic efforts to minimize the loss.
“We would also like to thank the emergency services in attendance who offered assistance ashore and spent long periods of time on the water searching and rescuing.”
Okehampton Mayor Bob Tolley said: “We are all thinking of the poor families involved and our condolences go out to all.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-double-investigation-after-two-27203858 Duplicate police investigation after two disabled persons died strapped to capsized boat