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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Windermere deaths: Police identify mum and daughter

A detective leading the investigation into the boat deaths at Windermere has described the incident as “an absolute tragedy”.

It is thought a generator on board, which may have been used to heat the boat in the near-freezing conditions, could have been at fault.

Inspector Mike Brown said: “We cannot rule anything out at this moment in time but we are happy there are no suspicious circumstances.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning has been suggested as a possible cause of death but police say they are keeping an open mind while investigations continue.

Kelly Webster, 36, of Leyland, and her 10-year-old daughter, Lauren Thornton, were passengers on the private boat when they reported serious breathing difficulties.

The 39-year-old man who was on the boat at the time has been named as Matthew Eteson, of Leyland, the partner of Kelly Webster.

Mr Eteson has now been released from hospital after receiving treatment.

A post mortem will be carried out and DI Brown said he is pushing for it to take place today.

He said investigations are also focusing on the engine compartment of the 25ft cruiser.

He added: “Something has gone wrong on that boat, which has led to the death of those two people.”

He said police were unable to speak to Mr Eteson yesterday due to the severity of his condition so they are still working to establish the facts.

He said: “We do know they arrived in Windermere on Easter Sunday. We know at approximately 2pm they left the boat to go into town and the alarm was raised at 4pm.”

Entrepreneur and television personality Duncan Bannatyne, of Dragons’ Den fame, witnessed the drama unfolding as emergency services personnel rushed to the scene.

“What has happened in Bowness?” the 64-year-old asked his 600,000 Twitter followers at about 5pm before posting a photo of the scene.

“Two air ambulance(s) have flown over me plus four on the road plus loads of police (cars).”

Stuart Mann, the owner of Worcestershire-based Classic Seagulls, said that carbon monoxide was a “silent killer” that often could not be detected until it is too late.

“We’ve been inundated with calls and engines and requests for parts this weekend because the weather is turning and people are going out boating,” he said.

“It’s what we call ‘Mad Easter’ and it’s why we’re open all Easter holidays because it’s the same every year.

“But the same as you get your car serviced every 12 months and the same as you get you gas boiler serviced every 12 months, you should get your boat serviced every 12 months.”

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