Mother Killed by Boat Propeller After Falling Overboard on Family Vacation

A mother-of-three was killed during a family boat outing when she fell overboard and became caught in the propeller, a report has revealed.

Laura Louise Perry, 38, was standing on the aft deck at the rear of the vessel when the hire boat's stern "made hard contact with the embankment wall," at a marina on the east coast of England on August 19 last year.

Perry was aboard the 42ft-long hire boat with a family group of nine when "she was caught in the propeller and fatally injured," the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said in its interim report published this month.

The family group tried to moor the boat at the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station but was unable to as the station was full, prompting the MAIB to call for safety improvements in the hire boat industry.

"At the time of the accident, the motor cruiser was being manoeuvred to stop and turn in the river," the report said. "The family group had intended to moor up at the yacht station, but it was full."

An inquest on January 4 at Norfolk Coroner's Court listed Perry's cause of death as being from "multiple injuries and drowning due to, or as a consequence of, entrapment beneath a boat following a fall into the water," the Great Yarmouth Mercury reported at the time.

Perry fell overboard at 1:13p.m. and emergency services were reportedly called shortly before 1.35p.m. to reports of a woman in the water. The mother-of-three was recovered from the water about an hour after she fell, local media reported at the time.

Perry, from London and a mother to three boys aged four to 16, was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services including a team of divers spent around 90 minutes trying to recover her body.

"She treasured her boys and embraced every minute spent with them on a multitude of trips, adventures, holidays and memory-making," a funeral notice cited by the Eastern Daily Press read.

The MAIB says a draft report is nearing completion and will be distributed to stakeholders for a 30-day consultation period.

The investigative body added that the investigation has considered all aspects of the accident, including the causes and circumstances of the hard contact, the boat construction standards for prevention of persons falling overboard, the handling of large dual control cruisers by hirers, and the hire boat induction and handover process.

A full inquest has been adjourned until November 4.

Great Yarmouth Yacht Station
Laura Louise Perry, 38, was killed during a family boat outing when she fell overboard and became caught in the propeller at a marina on the east coast of England, a report has revealed. Google Maps