5 years ago, at the end of the last day of the Monaco boat show, we received a call saying there had been a boat crash the previous evening and our gorgeous son William, who was Bosun on super yacht Burrasca, was missing, presumed dead. Many friends at the time wanted to help and raise money in his name but to be honest it has taken this long to think clearly about being able to do this. The time is now right to do something positive in his name within the maritime industry in which William found a home for his spirit of adventure.
We have set up a bursary in Williams memory with the UKSA ( the sailing academy where he trained) to fund new sailors who otherwise might not be able to enter the industry. This is a way for Wills name to live on and give back to the industry he so loved.
If you would like to support Wills cause in any way, we have set up this Justgiving page to start raising money for his bursary, so if you are running a marathon, cycling, in fact taking part in any sporting challenge, we would love your support. We have just held our first fundraising event, on 2nd July, and so far it has raised over £2,500, which is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much to all our wonderful family and friends, who travelled from far and wide, to join us for this first annual fundraiser. It really was the most magical evening, full of happy memories, laughter and talk about the positive steps we are taking for William.
On anther note there were so many factors around his accident which horrified us and now feel we have to address.
We received the phone call from his captain advising us of Wills accident, and that the Air Sea Rescue had been called off. We made arrangements to fly out but upon arriving in Monaco on the Tuesday, discovered that the Burrasca had already left the port, having deposited Wills belongings with the local police. This meant that we never saw the boat he was working on, met with the Captain or crew he worked with, in fact we never heard from them again. The boat was taken out of European waters by the owners so they couldn't be held accountable for anything to do with the accident, and subsequently put up for sale. We later found out none of the crew was insured by the boat- as if none of their lives mattered and that Wills death was an inconvenience. We have now heard of other families who have lost loved ones in similar horrific accidents that could possibly have been avoided if there were stricter marine laws. Talking to some of the families affected, we want to join with them and raise awareness about the fact that the lack of care for human life is not acceptable and needs to change.
Following the inquest into Wills accident, we suspect that the tender (rib) that he was driving on his way back to SY Burrasca, must have been hit by the swell from another tender ahead, that was being driven at speed. This must have knocked him off the boat and he fell into the water, either knocking himself unconscious or breaking his neck. Either way it would have been instantaneous. The boat then kept going and crashed into a moored boat. However the fact there was no life jacket being worn and the kill chord switch had been disabled (under order of the boat presumably to save time - the kill chord stops the boat if the driver falls off) meant the divers searching for Will at the crash site never found his body because they were searching in the wrong place. If a life jacket had been worn, then in the worst case we would have been able to find his body and have to chance to bring him home and bury him and, best case scenario, if he had only been knocked unconscious we'd still have him with us. Either way safety of crew is such an important issue and one which we can't let go. Those of you who knew Wills huge personality and love of life know how devastated this left us all - here's to doing something wonderful in his name.
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