BOY OF 5 CRUSHED BY RUNAWAY SPEEDBOAT; Horror at the harbourside.(News)
Byline: RICHARD SMITH
A BOY of five has been crushed to death by a speedboat.
Piran Osborne was sitting on the edge of a harbour ramp when a 15ft craft being towed up it broke free and crashed back into him.
By the time yachtsmen hauled the boat off him he was already dead.
Piran's eight-year-old brother, who was sitting with him on the slipway, was slightly injured.
Sailor Sian Brown was alerted by shrieks from the boys' mother.
Sian, 61, said yesterday: "We saw people already running to the slipway. You could tell it was serious.
"It was the mother screaming - it was dreadful to hear. Then people stopped and it went quiet. Nobody was running to the boats to get help.
"That's when it became apparent there was nothing anybody could do.
"I saw a young man and an old man sobbing. It's the most terrible tragedy."
The boys, from St Newlyn East, Cornwall, had their legs dangling over the side of the slipway when the boat, mounted on a trailer, hit them.
One yachtsman who saw the tragedy in Mylor, Cornwall, said: "The trailer
came away from the towing vehicle and careered down the slipway. It ploughed straight into him and knocked him off the slipway.
"We simply couldn't believe what we were seeing."
Steve Nicholls of Mylor Yacht Club told how one witness raced in to raise the alarm on Sunday evening.
He said: "This chap came in screaming for a doctor and said there had been a serious accident." Yachtsmen with first aid training then raced to help.
Steve added: "They found the child under a speedboat. When they got it off him he was very seriously injured. There was nothing they could do."
Fisherman Frank Vinnicombe, 81, claimed locals had been worried about the slipway because the public could use it unsupervised.
And he revealed: "Eight weeks ago I saw exactly the same thing, although that time no-one was hurt."
Police and health and safety chiefs are investigating.
Harbour owner Roger Graffy declined to comment.