In a tragic accident in Moorea on August 9, a young cruiser was killed after being hit by a speedboat. According to reports, Eddie Jarman, 14, was checking the anchor on his family’s UK-based Discovery 55 September A.M. in Opunohu Bay when he was struck. Efforts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful.
Eddie and his family — parents Harry Jarman and Barbara Genda, and 13-year-old sister Amelie Jarman — had departed Lanzarote, Canary Islands, about 18 months ago, and had been cruising French Polynesia for the last nine months.
“Eddie had an amazing zest for life,” wrote his mother on the family’s Just Giving page, which was set up to repatriate the young man’s body to England. “He was bright, with talent and kindness, blessed with musical talent, and expertly played the piano, violin and a double bass. Mature well over his 14 years, he made an indelible mark on everyone he met. In memory of his life and his love for music we are setting up a trust fund which will fund music and school tuition for talented youngsters.”
No further details were available regarding the speedboat, its driver, or the exact circumstances of the accident. According to sources, it was a speedboat rented by a tourist from one of the area hotels.
Back in March, 52-year-old Ellen Tischbin of the New Jersey-based Miclo III was also killed after being struck by a ‘motorized dinghy’ while swimming near her boat in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua.
We don’t have any hard numbers, but our feeling is that incidents like these are thankfully rare. Collisions between dinghies and other small craft such as pangas are probably a bigger problem.
Yes, there are rules in Moorea and most other populated harbors in the world governing speed and safety. The reality is, operators of powered craft often ignore them and go too fast anyway.
Our hearts go out to the Genda-Jarman family. We hope anyone reading this will be extra diligent when swimmers are in the water, be they from your boat or another. You can never be too careful.