A coronial inquest has revealed fresh details into the deadly joy flight that killed a British family of five in a seaplane crash near Sydney.
According to Peter Bedford, the Berkshire coroner in Britain, multimillionaire Richard Cousins from London, 58, died of multiple blunt force injuries when the aircraft operated by Sydney Seaplanes crashed into the Hawkesbury River on New Year’s Eve.
Mr Cousins’ fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter Heather, 11, suffered head injuries and drowned.
Mr Cousins’ son William, 25, died from multiple head and facial injuries, while his younger brother Edward, 23, drowned upon impact.
Post-mortem examinations for the Hawkesbury seaplane crash victims were completed by NSW Health Pathology’s Department of Forensic Medicine, a spokesperson told The New Daily, and reports were provided to the NSW Coroners Office.
A spokesperson for the NSW coroner’s court said the victims’ deaths “have been reported to the coroner who has instructed police to prepare a brief of evidence”.
An inquest by the Berkshire coroner was opened after the bodies were reportedly repatriated back to Reading in the UK.
Senior coroner Mr Bedford said the inquest has been suspended until the NSW coronial court completes a full investigation into the deaths of all six people on board.
“I propose to suspend my investigation under the Criminal Justice Act 2009. This allows me the power to suspend my investigation if another investigation into the deaths is being conducted,” Mr Bedford told local media.
“The New South Wales coroner is leading an ongoing investigation and she has access to the investigation by local authorities and that will involve an air crash investigator by a team of specialists.
“It will then fall to my office to consider whether or not a full inquest should take place here in Berkshire, using the outcome of the investigation from Australia.”
The British family were out sightseeing when the Sydney seaplane entered Jerusalem Bay and suddenly nose-dived into the water.
Canadian seaplane pilot Gareth Morgan, 44, was flying the aircraft when he lost control after veering 1km off course.
There were no mechanical issues with the seaplane, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s preliminary report.