A POWERBOAT crash which killed a man at West Bay was a tragic accident, a coroner said.

Kevin Edmondson, aged 53 from Kent, died on Sunday, June 24 while competing in a powerboat race organised by Offshore Circuit Racing (OCR).

An inquest was held yesterday at Bournemouth Coroner's Court.

The inquest heard how the conditions on the day were perfect for powerboat racing with calm seas and sunshine.

Steve Oaten, who was the race manager during the weekend, said the course in place had been used successfully in the past and a number of safety measures had been taken on the day, including giving boat drivers a full safety briefing.

Bob McCarthy, whose boat collided with Mr Edmondson’s boat, then gave his account of what happened.

Mr McCarthy, who is chairman of OCR, said the crash occurred on the final lap of the last race after Mr Edmondson's boat became 'hooked' after passing a buoy.

He explained how Mr Edmondson's boat lost control, similar to a Formula One car losing control around a bend, which was most likely due to a wave or his boat getting into a trough.

Mr McCarthy’s navigator Jamie Stickler, who was essentially his co-pilot, said: "We went down towards mark one and Kevin was in front of us. We were gaining on Kevin. I asked Bob if he had seen Kevin and he said yes. Annika (Kevin's navigator) looked around and made us aware that she knew we were there.

"As we came into the turn it was very much what I would describe as a textbook turn. Kevin moved over. We went to go on the inside, but as we were coming out of the turn there was still enough room to fit another boat or so in between us. Suddenly I saw Kevin's boat violently hooked to the left. I said to Bob 'He's hooked, he's hooked' and the next thing I know we were going through the air."

Matthew Littlejohn, one of the safety officers, said it had been a very uneventful weekend until the crash.

He said as the Mr Edmondson's boat came out of the turn it became violently hooked. He added: "It's not common, it happens to boats in different conditions for a number of reasons.

He said he couldn't see anything in particular which would have led to the boat becoming hooked, but added there was a reasonable distance between both boats during the turn.

HM Assistant Coroner Deborah Rooke said: "On the basis of the evidence, Mr Edmondson was competing in an organised powerboat race in West Bay, Bridport when his boat collided with another boat. He received serious injuries and was treated at the scene. My conclusion over his death is that it was a tragic accident. I offer my condolences."

Mark Humber-Kelly, spoke on behalf of Mr Edmondson's daughters and the rest of his family who were at the inquest.

He said: "We are fully aware it was an accident but were just believe that this is not the first time this type of accident has happened and we would hate for this to happen to anybody else. We just believe that we would like lessons to be learned from it."

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Humber-Kelly told the Echo he was referring to a fatal boat crash which occurred during a powerboat race in Dover Harbour in 2009.

One of the boats unintentionally lost control when turning, causing another boat to crash into its side. A man was sadly killed during the incident.

Mr Edmondson’s daughter Kadee said her dad was an ‘outgoing’ and ‘chirpy’ man who loved the thrills of life.