List of fatal accidents in motorboat racing

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As motorboat racing is a dangerous sport, many individuals (including drivers, crew members, officials and spectators) have been killed in crashes related to the sport, either in a race, in qualifying, in practice or a private testing session. It has been stated that since 1940, the fatality rate in water speed record is 85%, making it the sporting world's most hazardous competitions and approximately in offshore powerboat racing, one racer dies each year from accidents.[1]

Accidents during Water speed record[edit]

Name Date Place Boat Spec. Comment
United Kingdom Henry Segrave[2] 13 June 1930 WindermereUnited Kingdom Miss England II Driver
United Kingdom Vic Halliwell Riding engineer
United Kingdom John Cobb[3] 29 September 1952 Loch NessUnited Kingdom Crusader
Italy Mario Verga[4] 9 October 1954 Lago d'IseoItaly Laura 3
United Kingdom Donald Campbell[5] 4 January 1967 Coniston WaterEngland Bluebird K7
United States Lee Taylor[6] 13 November 1980 Lake TahoeUnited States Discovery II Test run
United States Craig Arfons[7] 9 July 1989 Lake JacksonUnited States Rain X Challenger

Accidents during an Unlimited Hydroplane race[edit]

Name Date Race Place Boat Spec. Comment
New Jersey Bill Freitag[8] 1931/09/19 President's Cup Potomac River Miss Philadelphia
Michigan Joe Schaeffer[9] 1939/08/28 Test run Detroit River Delphine IX
Oregon Orth Mathiot[10][11] 1951/08/04 Gold Cup Lake Washington Quicksilver Driver
Oregon Thompson "Thom" Whitaker[10] Co-pilot/mechanic
Michigan Lloyd Maddock [12][13] 1955/06/25 Detroit Memorial Regatta Detroit River Holiday
Italy Ezio Selva [14][15][16][17][18] 1957/12/29 Orange Bowl Regatta Grand Prix Biscayne Bay Moschettiere
Ontario Bob Hayward [19][20][21] 1961/09/10 Silver Cup Detroit River Miss Supertest
Ohio Ron Musson [22][23] 1966/06/19 President's Cup Potomac River Miss Bardahl Explosion during race
Washington (state) Rex Manchester [22][23] Notre Dame Collision during final heat
Washington (state) Don Wilson [22][23] Miss Budweiser
Virginia Chuck Thompson [24][25] 1966/07/03 Gold Cup Detroit River Smirnoff
Washington (state) Bill Brow [26][27] 1967/11/06 Tampa Suncoast Cup Tampa Bay Miss Budweiser
Idaho Warner Gardner [28][29][30] 1968/09/08 Gold Cup Detroit River Miss Eagle Electric
Washington (state) Tommy Fults [31][32][33] 1970/09/16 Gold Cup Mission Bay Pay 'n Pak's 'lil Buzzard Qualifying run
Ohio Skipp Walther [34][35][36] 1974/06/02 Champion Spark Plug Trophy Miami Marine Stadium Red Man Test run prior to race
Washington (state) Jerry Bangs [37][38][39] 1977/08/07 Seafair Trophy Lake Washington The Squire
California Bill Muncey [40][41] 1981/10/18 UIM World Championship race Acapulco Atlas Van Lines
Florida Dean Chenoweth [42][43] 1982/07/31 Columbia Cup Columbia River Miss Budweiser
California George Stratton [44][45] 2000/09/17 Testing Mission Bay Appian Jeronimo

Accidents during offshore powerboat racing[edit]

Name Role Date Series Race Place Boat Spec. Comment
Kevin Brown Owner/Driver 1989/10/23 APBA/UIM Worlds Championship Atlantic City, New Jersey 32 ft Skater Team Skater UIM II (Modified Class)Jim Dyke throttle-Man Kevin Brown Owner/Driver
Val Carr 1972 Schwepps 80 Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia [46][47][48]
Paul Carr
Alf Bontoft Driver 1976/08/29 Cowes-Torquay Enfield Marine "Blitz" [49]
Joel Halpern Driver 1981/03/29 APBA Halter 200 Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans Michelob Light [50][51]
Dick Fullam driver 1985 APBA Key West Still Crazy Fullam had a previous career as a CFL player[52]
Mike Poppa Throttleman
Mark Lavin Throttleman 1986 APBA Key West Jesse James [51]
Didier Pironi Driver 1987/08/23 Offshore World Championship Needles Trophy Isle of Wight, United Kingdom ACX "Colibri" - Lamborghini [53]
Jean-Claude Guénard Throttleman
Bernard Giroux Navigator
Thomas Brandt pilot 1988 APBA Sheffield Oil Unocal 76 Offshore Classic Panama City, Florida Spirit of Miss Liberty [54][55]
Don Wright throttleman
Stefano Casiraghi Throttleman 1990/10/03 Class 1 WOC Monaco French Riviera Pinot di Pinot
Shannon Pearce Driver 1990 Cock of the Mersey - Devonport Apex Regatta Mersey River, Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia [56]
Brass Wilcockson Navigator 1991 Class 3D National Championship Allhallows, River Thames, United Kingdom Puma Catamaran
Hamed Buhaleeba Throttleman 1995/08/25 Class Two World Offshore Championship Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom Victory M-1-Sterling Chevrolet V6 [57][58][59]
Khalid Al-Sabah 1997/03/30 Class Two Middle-East Offshore Championship Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates [60]
Jack Carmody Driver 2001 APBA Offshore Pro Series Corpus Christi, Texas Xtreme Carlos N'Charlie's [1][61]
Sergio Carpentieri Throttleman June 30, 2007 Powerboat P1 World Championship Travemünde, Germany Carpenter [62]
Kevin Graff Driver August 24, 2008 OPA Battle on the Bay Patchogue, New York "Aero Express" MTI [63]
Phil DeJana Throttleman
Joey Gratton Throttleman 2011/11/11 Superboat International 31st Annual World Championships Key West, Florida Page Motor Sports [64]
Mohammad Al Mehairi Driver 2009/12/11 Class One World Offshore Championship Dubai Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), Mina Seyahi Victory 1 [65][66]
Jean-Marc Sanchez Throttleman
William Nocker Driver 2012/07/13 UIM Class-1 Gabon Grand Prix Libreville, Gabon Welmax [67]

Accidents during outboard powerboat racing[edit]

Name Date Series Race Place Machine
Italy Cesare Scotti[68] 1974/10/06 ON (2000 cc) Six Hours of Paris Seine River Scotti - Evinrude
United Kingdom Peter Inward[69] 1983/07/03 British F2 Powerboat Championship Fairford Hodges / Mercury
United States Ken Stevenson[70] 1983/12/11 Formula 2 Powerboat World Championship Nassau-Paradise Island Strait Bahamas
Italy Luigi Valdano[71] 1984/05/27 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Grote Prijs van Nederland Ertveld Plas, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
France Gérard Barthelemy[72] 1984/06/02 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Paris Grand Prix Seine River, Paris, France Hodges - Evinrude
Italy Roberto Saviero[73] 1984/08/03 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Private test Po River, near Piacenza, Italy "Esercito Italiano" Molinari - Evinrude
United Kingdom Tom Percival[74] 1984/08/19 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Grand Prix de Belgique Benson & Hedges Meuse River, Liège, Belgium Hodges - Evinrude
France Philippe Rebulet[75] 1988/11/06 Six Hours of Paris Seine River  ?
France François Salabert[76] June 10, 1990 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Embassy Grand Prix Bristol, United Kingdom Jeanneau / Mercury
Poland Bolesław Niklewski 1991/07/03 Malta Circuit, Poznań Poland
United Kingdom John Hill[77][78] 1993/04/16 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Burgess / Mercury
France Roger Demares[79] 1995/05/02 24 heures Motonautiques de Rouen Seine River Deboos / Mercury
United Kingdom Andy Chesman[80] 1998/07/19 European Formula 500 Championship Hamburg, Germany Fort Boat / König
France Francis Maré[81] 1999/05/01 24 heures Motonautiques de Rouen Seine River Heart attack
Poland Mirosław Kędziora[82] 2001/09/23 S-550 World Championship Trzcianka Poland
Russia Victor Kunitch[83] 2001/10/28 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
Italy Vincenzo Polli[84] 2002/12/21 Formula 1 Powerboat World Championship Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
 Mike Lovell (GBR) [85][86] 2012/09/16 P1 Superstock Series Weymouth United Kingdom Peters & May - P1 Panther 250 UK[87]
Joe Mahmah 2012/11/04 [united kingdom]

Accidents during hydroplane and displacement racing[edit]

As two boats approached the first buoy the second boat failed to turn and ran over Tantrum. Driver John Allen never recovered and died three years later from injuries received in the crash. 5 litre Displacement

Name Date Competition Race Place Boat Spec. Comment
Jack Turner[88][89] 1948/08/23 Canadian Gold Cup Picton, Ontario Ventnor "Tops III"
Dennis Hall 1989/01/15 Unlimited Unrestricted race Deepwater Motor Boat Club, Milperra 6 Litre Displacement "CAINAM" As 2 boats were approaching a turn buoy, the other boat failed to turn & ran over the top of Mr Hall's boat & Mr Hall was fatally injured.
Doug Jancura 2004/04/17 American Power Boat Association Testing American Lake, Lakewood, Washington, USA Strutin PS 1 - Pro Stock Flatbottom Sprint Boat
Larry Martin[90][91] 2004/11/06 Australian Power Boat Association Wide Bay Bundy Thunder Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia Trojan - 6 litre Displacement
Geoff Tomkins 2007/03/04 Devonport Apex Regatta Cock of the Mersey Mersey River, Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia "Iron Nuts" - Unlimited Displacement
János Feil[92] 2008/05/11 UIM European Championship F350 Po River, Boretto, Italy
Brian McCosker 2010/04/03 Taree Aquatic Power Boat Club Easter Classic Stuart Doyle Cup - NSW Unlimited Displacement Championship Taree, New South Wales, Australia Liberty - Unlimited Displacement MR McCosker died as a result of a massive heart attack while driving his boat .as a result caused his boat to crash.
David Bryant 2010/04/04 Taree Aquatic Power Boat Club Easter Classic Eastway Shield - NSW Unlimited Open Inboard Championship Taree, New South Wales, Australia She's the Culprit - Unlimited Displacement Mr Bryant was fatally injured from a mechanical failure causing the boat to flip at high speed
John Cross 2010/09/28 Australian Power Boat Association Lake Mulwala Power, Victorian Council APBA Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia Rival - Unlimited Displacement Mr cross had just passed the finish line in a final race when a propeller ear broke causing the boat to flip
Ryan Butler 2011/07/09 American Power Boat Association UIM World Flatbottom Championships Black Lake, Olympia, Washington, USA Scooty-Puff. Sr. PS 44 - Super Stock Flatbottom Sprint Boat

Accidents during drag boat racing[edit]

Name Date Competition Race Place Boat Spec. Comment
Mike Fry 08/09/2015 Marble Falls Lakefest Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series Lake Marble Falls (Texas) Top Alcohol Hydro "Meanstreak II" First round of eliminations in TA/H
Hugh Jones 1986/06/21 ADBA Molson Drag Boat Challenge London ON BFH Stage fright Comment
Mac Bale[93][94] 1970/02/01 Lake Ming, Bakersfield, California, United States
Jan Barrett[94][95] 1973/10/07 Lake Ming, Bakersfield, California, United States Water speed record attempt
David Skalicky[93] 2005/07/10 Southern Drag Boat Association Ozarka Bricktown Nationals Bricktown Drag Boat Circuit, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States "Bad Boy's Dixie Toy"
Dale Anderson[96] 2002/09/08 National Jet Boat Association Bakersfield, California, United States Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States "Bad Boy's Dixie Toy"

References[edit]

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External links[edit]