New warnings issued after tragic boating deaths

Fresh warnings over ‘DIY’ work and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning have been issued following the deaths of a Leyland mum and her daughter.

Lauren Thornton and her mum Kelly Webster
Lauren Thornton and her mum Kelly Webster

Kelly Webster, 36, and her 10-year-old daughter Lauren Thornton died in April 2013 during a family boating holiday in the Lake District.

The pair were found unconscious inside a private yacht, and a post-mortem found they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has released a detailed report following an investigation into the tragic incident.

It found that a portable generator was the source of the carbon monoxide emission, which are “usually supplied with warnings that they should not be used in enclosed spaces or be modified.”

The branch is now advising that all new recreational boats should be fitted with carbon monoxide sensors, and has issued a warning about the dangers of people modifying parts of their boats.

The report said: “During the course of the MAIB investigation into this accident, it was found that a number of boat owners on Windermere had installed portable generators in enclosed spaces.

“Many had installed the generators themselves.

“There are numerous systems on board boats that, regardless of a boat owner’s engineering and mechanical skills, should only be installed, maintained or modified by a qualified marine engineer.”

- The boat’s owner, a 41-year-old man from Leyland, is due to face trial charged with manslaughter.