Holidaymaker died after 'misadventure' on River Bure boat

The boat which was involved in an incident on the River Bure near Clink Hill.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
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The boat which was involved in an incident on the River Bure near Clink Hill. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A holidaymaker celebrating his 30th birthday in Great Yarmouth died as a result of "misadventure", an inquest heard.

Simon Alex Houlder, known as Sly, was on a hire boat on the River Bure when the accident occurred at Clink Hill, West Caister, on September 15, the day before his birthday.

Emergency services had been called to the accident shortly after 2pm, with an inshore lifeboat, Coastguard rescue helicopter and helimed dispatched, with teams from both Bacton and Gorleston.

The 29-year-old was taken to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, before being transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, in a critical condition with serious injuries.

Mr Houlder, from Bubwith in East Yorkshire, died from his injuries at Addenbrooke's later the same day, with the medical cause of death given as loss of blood due to a wound on his left thigh.


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Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson concluded Mr Houlder died as a result of "misadventure", saying there was "nothing untoward" with the group's actions.

The BBC reports Mr Houlder had been pushed into the water by friends as a joke, before becoming "trapped in the propeller while trying to get back on board."

Mr Houlder was with six friends when the accident happened, with two of the six having been pushed into the water earlier.

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The boat reversed when Mr Houlder was in the water to allow him to climb back on board, with the 29-year-old seen swimming towards the back of the boat, where the boat's propeller was.

Tributes were paid to Mr Houlder, who worked as a joiner, following his death.

Police have cordoned off a stretch of quay along the River Bure in Great Yarmouth following an incid

Police have cordoned off a stretch of quay along the River Bure in Great Yarmouth following an incident. The hire boat involved was transferred to the yacht station after the incident, which took place one mile upstream near Clink Hill. Picture: Liz Coates - Credit: Archant

The talented footballer was hailed as a "club legend" by his local team Bubwith White Swan FC, who set up an online fundraiser for his family.

The fundraiser stated: "Nobody expected this to happen and the full footballing community are shook up by this.

"Sly has been a massive part of the club for many years and was an exceptional footballer, a brother, and a fantastic friend.

"He was the life of the party and always brought a smile to everybody's face."

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