Keith Barrett instructed in Solent boat tragedy | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Keith Barrett instructed in Solent boat tragedy

Keith Barrett has been instructed by all the passengers injured when a speedboat crashed into a buoy in The Solent off Southampton in August 2020, including the family of Emily Lewis who was killed after she was thrown from the boat. Emily's father and sister were also injured in what was intended as a fun day trip.

Eleven people were on board the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) which hit a buoy at speed off the village of Netley.

The police have charged Michael Lawrence, the driver of the boat, with gross negligence manslaughter and Michael Howley, the owner of the company running the boat trips, with failing to take all reasonable steps to secure that the boat was operated in a safe manner. Both have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges and have also refused to accept liability in the civil claims.

Keith continues to pursue the civil claims on behalf of those involved and will ask the Coroner to investigate the safety of this type of high-speed sea craft with a view to the Coroner issuing a report to prevent similar deaths in the future.

For further information about catastrophic injury claims and personal injury claims, please call Keith Barrett on 0330 460 6783 or email


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.