Investigators scour social media video for Hanko powerboat crash clues

Otkes says they will concentrate on what kind of risk management plans the Poker Run organisers put in place before the weekend event, and whether they were properly implemented.

File picture of boat involved in Hanko powerboat accident, 8th August 2020 / Credit: Otkes

Accident investigators are scouring social media video to find different views of a boat crash that left a child of primary school age dead, and another person injured.

The incident happened on Saturday off the coast of Hanko when a powerboat taking part in an event known as the ‘Poker Run‘ hit a pleasure boat. The two casualties were both on the pleasure boat.

Video from Hanko’s East Harbour, where spectators had gathered on the shore and in other boats to watch the Poker Run, shows one boat leaving a strong wake behind it. A second boat – white, with twin hull – approaches at speed and hits the wake left by the first boat. It appears to become unstable and then collides with another craft.

“In some cases we get that kind of video material and it helps a lot. It really helps” says Professor Veli-Pekka Nurmi from the Finnish Safety Investigation Authority Otkes.

“If three people see the same thing happen, and how they are telling us, we hear three different stories. That’s why the video material is very valuable for us and now we really have from different angles what happened” he tells News Now Finland.

Investigators already know they want to concentrate not just on the events leading up to the crash, but also how the Poker Run was organised.

“There are three different boats what we are really interested in. How they moved, and why they moved like they did. But most of all we are going to concentrate on this show. Who has organised it and how have they who have organised this Poker Run, assured the safety of the audience and safety of the competitors” explains Professor Nurmi.

Otkes investigators will be looking more closely at the what kind of risk management plans were drawn up ahead of the event, and how they were actually implemented. The Poker Run’s safety rules stipulate how fast the powerboats can go, and the minimum safe distance between craft.

Police say a criminal report has been prepared with possible charges including endangering safety, and suspected manslaughter. The final Otkes investigation could take up to nine months to be published.

File picture of boat involved in Hanko powerboat accident, 8th August 2020 / Credit: Otkes