Emily Gardner: Tributes

Investigations continue into a speedboat accident that killed Gloucester schoolgirl Emily Gardner as hundreds of tributes continue to be paid.

The 14-year-old became trapped underneath the vessel after it overturned in Brixham Harbour in Torbay, Devon, on Saturday while on holiday with a friend’s family.

She was taken to Torbay hospital by ambulance but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Her death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from people in Gloucester and Torbay.

A minute silence was observed at Brixham harbour on Sunday during the annual pirate festival.

Festival chairman Adrian Measures said: “I was talking to a PCSO and she had to rush off and at first I thought it was something to do with us.

“Later, we didn’t know anything except a speedboat had overturned and it was serious. Much later, we found out the girl had died.”

“We announced the silence and it was well observed. It was the least we could do.”

Since news of Emily’s death was revealed, scores of tributes have been paid to the student who attended Chosen Hill School, in Churchdown.

The Revd Jonathan Perkins, of nearby St Andrew’s and St Bartholomew’s church said his heart goes out to her family and friends.

“It is an incredibly tragic and terrible accident,” he said.

“Many people in the church know Emily as she went to school with their children.

“We send all our heartfelt prayers and thoughts to her family and friends.”

More than 3,200 people have joined a Facebook page to share memories of Emily and send their condolences to her family and friends.

Photographs have also been posted of flowers being placed into the sea at Brixham harbour.

Nurse Anna June Williams said: “I work at Torbay hospital but arrived at work early evening.

“Nurses and health care assistants were devastated. I’m so sorry for your loss.

“She will certainly light up the skies shinning brightly.”

Friend Charlie O’Neill added: “You are gone but never forgotten.Such a beautiful girl and one of my only true friends.

“You will be truly missed. Sleep tight angel.”

A 50-year-old man and two 15-year-old girls, also from the Gloucester area, were also on board the boat when it capsized.

They were taken to shore by two men who came to the rescue on jetskis before lifeboat crews arrived.

The 16ft speedboat, which was believed to be privately owned, has been recovered and taken to police premises for examination.

Police are investigating the cause of the incident on behalf of the coroner.

It is a joint investigation with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Police and the MAIB are also being assisted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

In a statement, Emily’s devastated family said: “Our beautiful Emily was a caring loving, gentle daughter and sister.

“She was full of life and had the world ahead of her. She was our diamond, now shining bright in the sky.

“She will be missed and forever in our hearts.”


A Facebook page has been set up in memory of Gloucester teenager Emily Gardner, who was killed in a speed boat accident in Devon this weekend.

More than 3,200 people have joined the page to share memories of 14-year-old Emily and send condolences to her family and friends.

Photographs have also been posted of flowers being placed into the sea at Brixham harbour where the tragedy happened.

Kellie Huntley said: “Absolutely devastated to hear that this poor young girl has lost her life too soon. We were holidaying near Brixham at the time and were gutted to hear this news. RIP Emily. Love and thoughts to all of her family and friends xx.”