Emily Lewis: Family pay tribute to ‘beautiful’ girl, 15, killed in Southampton speedboat crash

The family of a “beautiful” teenage girl who died after a speedboat crash have paid tribute to her.

Emily Lewis, 15, was killed when the rigid inflatable boat (RIB) she was travelling in collided with a buoy in the Solent on Saturday morning.

She was taken to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Eleven other people were also admitted to hospital for treatment and Hampshire Police are now investigating the “exact circumstances” of the incident in Southampton Water.

Emily’s family said they “suffered from broken bones, but the emotional pain far outweighs the physical”.

“We are all in shock that our beautiful daughter and sister is no longer with us, and words just don’t seem available to express our deep sense of loss,” they added in a statement.

It is understood that her father Simon, mother Nikki and 19-year-old sister Amy were on the boat, and that both her mother and sister suffered broken arms.

The headteacher at Brookfield School where she was a student, Stuart Parkes, said Emily’s “caring showed no bounds”.

She volunteered to help new pupils and had “aspirations to help shape the education of every student in our school”, he said.

Mr Parkes added: “Emily was a kind and compassionate young lady who cared deeply about those around her.”

“She was a creative soul who loved textiles and design and who showed great potential. She was motivated and dedicated to her studies, a positive example to all,” he continued.

“Emily was a bright, conscientious student who will be sorely missed by all staff and students at Brookfield.”

The body that qualifies commercial high-speed powerboat crews in the UK told Sky News it will work with authorities to see if lessons can be learnt following Emily’s death.

The Royal Yachting Association’s head of training Richard Folk said: “If there are any things that can be done to make things safer then obviously we will look at those.”

Hampshire Police are appealing for information or footage of the collision that took place between Netley Abbey and Hythe Pier.

:: Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting Operation Orange or submit video evidence through the Major Incident Public Portal.

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