30/09/2013 Inside Out South


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Hello from Dorchester on Thames in Oxfordshire. Welcome to Inside Out.


More of your stories from where we live. In tonight's programme, one


man's crusade to stop accidents like this ever happening again. My son


would be alive if the person driving his boat had been wearing a kill


cord. Rhubarb reduction is —— rhubarb, radishes — the allotments


hold the key to Britain. This is a piece of Roman pottery. You're


literally falling over stuff. Exactly, that's the excitement of


living here. Inches from disaster, how lives were put at risk on one of


the busiest commuter routes. This is Inside Out for the South of England.


First, one father's campaign for change. It is 13 years since Tristan


Douglas Johnson was killed by a runaway speedboat at the Southampton


Boat Show. Earlier this year, a father and daughter lost their lives


in a similar incident in Cornwall. Is it time to make wearing a kill


cord a legal requirement? Sam Smith investigates. Speedboats. More


popular than ever before. And more powerful. Boats like this with a


medium—sized engine can easily reach speeds of around 50 miles an hour.


It might not sound much, but believe me, that can be witty exciting. ——


that can be pretty exciting. Voting is more accessible which is great.


It doesn't need to be an expensive sport. People can buy small boats,


get into boating. At the same time, people can get very fast bits of kit


straightaway. With power comes responsibility. Tonight we are


investigating whether those that govern boating in the UK could be


doing more to prevent fatal accidents involving these machines.


My son would be alive if the person driving his boat had been wearing


the kill cord. In May this year, a tragedy on the camera less jury.


This family were run over by their own speedboat as it raged out of


control. Nick Milligan and his eight—year—old daughter died from


their injuries. Exactly what happened that day is still under


investigation but what is known is that nobody at the time of the


accident was wearing one of these, a kill cord. This is wrapped around


part of the skipper's body and if they go overboard for any reason, it


gets yanked off the boat and it automatically cuts the engine.


Heading Johnson fears more lives will be lost unless the law is


changed. His son was killed by a speedboat 13 years ago in an


accidents led to the one in Padstow. I saw that boats circling around in


tight circles. And it brought back the whole horror of Tristan's


situation. Tristan was being given a test ride at the Southampton Boat


Show. The person driving the boat wasn't wearing a kill cord. When


everyone was thrown into the water, Tristan couldn't swim out of the


way. The boat ran over Tristan with the propeller, lacerating him,


giving him fatal injuries. It is a horrific thought that he probably


realised that the boat could run him over at any moment. And then, CNET


approach, it is very hard to bear that thought. —— seeing it approach.


Official figures show that an average of two kill cord accidents


in the UK occur. Many are likely to go unreported. Headon is joining the


harbour patrol. He wants to get a rough idea how many people are


wearing kill cords voluntarily. He is not attached. I just noticed you


coming in just now. You weren't attached to your kill cord. Is that


something you do often? I must admit, I do it when I am doing for


five miles an hour. Why didn't you attach it has you left? Because we


needed to take all the things off the side. We were sorting ourselves


out. So you would normally be wearing it? It is just as


important, really, here. You can't tell what might occur. You can go


over. Lock Heddon, it is a frustrating day with more than half


the people he approaches are still not wearing their kill cords. Some


people don't wear it out of bravado. It's safe and fun. That's not a


problem. That's what we've heard. While he's on the water, there's


news of another rescue as a speedboat spins out of control in


Scotland. The skipper hadn't been wearing a kill cord. If Tristan's


accident, which took place in front of the marine industry in Great


Britain, has had no effect, kill cords are not being worn any more


than they were back then, then it shows blatantly that education has


failed. Now was the time for the law to back up the wearing of kill


cords. That lifeboat ahead of us. Back to the neutral position.


Excellent. The boating's opening body the Royal not —— Royal Yachting


Association is firmly opposed to any lawmaking kill cord is compulsory,


even though it's an safety courses teach they must be worn whenever it


is running. Paul wrote to the powerboat training Handbook. There


is a real danger that an incident creates a knee jerk reaction for a


change which is unnecessary. If people do what they need to do and


they do it right, most of those instances would not occur. I


appreciate we want everything to change overnight, but the reality is


it doesn't always happen that way. I take issue with it being overnight,


because it is 13 years since the Southampton Boat Show and we've just


had this awful incident in Padstow, and we have been out and we've seen


many people not using kill cords. That is all true but we need a sense


of perspective in terms of the number of incidents. Making it


mandatory would make no difference whatsoever. Nick Milligan had done


the RYA's course prior to his fatal accident in Padstow. Ball doesn't


think the fact safety conscious people don't always wear their kill


cords means a change is needed. The system is simple and works. If you


attach the kill cord, and you fall out, it stops about. It is a system


that has been around decades and the mindset hasn't changed. Doesn't that


suggest the system needs to be changed? Don't we need to find new


ways of making these boats safer? You can come up with new and better


ways of doing things but if something works well... It works if


people use it. A lot of people don't, I think you'd agree. No, they


don't. I want that to change, we all want less incidents to occur.


Surprisingly, RNLI skippers don't wear kill cords on their inshore


lifeboats because of the risk they might inadvertently cut the engine


in a dangerous situation. Some argue the conventional kill cord isn't


always practical for recreational boaters either. The reason they're


not wearing them is because you are least to the console. Which


restricts your movement. On a boat, they're similar situations where you


need to go to the front of the boat, to the act of the boat, help people


in and out. You need to unclip. That whole time, you are open to


problems. In those situations, it is not always possible to stop the


engine. Not at all. Those are the worst situations because when you


are mooring the boat, for example, you are messing around the boat,


this is the throttle. There's a lot of boats now that are being


manufactured when the throttle is so sensitive, one small knot and the


boat is flying off in another direction. The people selling this


new device think they've got the answer. The wireless Coast Key means


the driver doesn't have to be attached to the boat all the time.


There is a unit inside here, and if the signal is disrupted, the engine


will cut. Time to put it to the test. Ready? Go, go, go! We've lost


the skipper. The way he goes. Still going and, there you go. The engine


has cut out. William. —— brilliant. We've got to get him back! The Coast


Key is already being used on police boats in Norway. The RYA says


wireless devices are a red herring, a distraction from its campaign to


get more people were conventional kill cords. Heddon ever doubts he


will ever convince them to support legislation. But he hasn't given


up. Tristan's final New Year message strengthens his resolve. If I don't


succeed now, there will come a day when we will see the sense of it. No


one wants to see people dying unnecessarily something that can


avoided by an action that takes a second to do. Heddon has started an


online petition and is getting close to the 100,000 signatures needed for


the chance of a debate in parliament, a debate over whether


it's worth sacrificing some of the freedoms enjoyed by boaters for the


chance of saving lives. Sam Smith reporting. Should wearing


a kill cord beat a legal requirement? Let me know your


requirement. —— let me know your opinions. If I told you the secret


to modern supplies and can be found beneath the vegetable patch in


Oxfordshire, you'd think I'd lost the plot. I tell you, it's true.


It's this vegetable patch here in Dorchester on Thames.


It's the quintessential English village, with its old abbey and


picture postcard cottages. You might think nothing that monumental has


ever really happened here. Time for a lesson. Dorchester on Thames is


not strictly on the Thames. The Thames is just to the South and the


West of the village. To the East is the River Thame. The two rivers meet


just over there. I'm not saying the villagers are ancient but they've


been knocking around here since the Stone Age. They liked it so much


they stayed for the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Then the Romans turned


up with their straight roads and fancy walls. It all got very


exciting. In short, this small village packs a big old punch when


it comes to history. And to get to the bottom of it you need one of


these. One of these. And, of course, a helicopter. Because from up here


it all gets a little clearer with a bird's eye view of the allotments.


Set in the South West corner of the village in Saxon times, this area


was known as the Hempcroft. Before that it was part of a walled town.


Under here, beneath the beetroot and the brassicas are the secrets to


Dorchester's incredible past. And that's something the local allotment


holders know only too well. It is always exciting. I really like it


when I find some pottery. I get excited if I find a spearhead or a


coin. There is so much stuff around here, you can walk around and find


it. I have this in my pocket. A piece of Roman pottery. I found it


lying around. You are literally falling over the stuff. That is the


excitement about living here. Quite often, you pick up little bits and


pieces and the rules are that we're not supposed to take them away. But


that is not always followed. Anyone playing by the rules leaves their


finds on the shed windowsill. Look at this lot, all found by Oxford's


amateur allotment archaeologists. And when the growing season's over


there's still work to be done. In the winter time, we have a session


in a garage in Dorchester. Five or six of us get together and we wash


all these bits of bone and pottery and all the rest of it. It is quite


fun. But once a year, the professionals roll into town. It is


clearly no more than a three sided structure. Let's leave that. Remove


the gravel right back to you. Dr Wendy Morrison, students from Oxford


University and local volunteers have been unearthing Dorchester's past


for the last seven years. What have you got? A needle. Worthy together?


This is a really nice handle. This year, they're concentrating on its


Roman past. Dorchester on Thames is an interesting place because it is


one of only two walled towns. We know so very little about the


internal arrangement of what was going on inside, it is significant.


There is a lot of room in activity. The Romans were here for a long time


and they were doing lots of stuff but we don't know very much about


what they were doing. The Romans turned up in Britain in AD43 but it


seems they didn't make it as far as Dorchester on Thames until AD60 or


maybe a shade earlier. But it's not just when the Romans arrived that's


intriguing archaeologists, it's also when they left. This is one of the


relatively few places where we appear to have pretty good evidence


for at least some of what is happening in this tricky period, the


transition from the late Roman to the early Anglo—Saxon. So what have


we got? At the bottom of the screen you can just make out the Roman


Road. Alongside the road are a series of pits where the Romans


would have chucked their rubbish. At the far end the team have found wall


footings, possibly of domestic structure. But it's in between these


that archaeologists have unearthed remains of a more unusual building.


This structure which we are referring to as the shrine, it has


got three sides to it. These two narrow walls. And this wider


structure. The interior space where you can see these smaller paving


slabs, we have got a lovely flagon neck. Somebody dropped that. Who was


the last person that touched this 1700 years ago? And the finds keep


on coming as the allotments reveal its secrets. We found a couple of


hair pins and a lot of bones and pieces of pottery. There was painted


plaster down here as well. We have found a lot of interesting things.


One of the wonderful things about archaeology is that you have to fit


the narrative around the fact and one new piece of evidence can change


the entire story. Your story can change from minute to minute. But


Dorchester on Thames hasn't always been so careful with its past. On


the other side of the village lie the sailing club and fishing lakes.


These former quarries were dug in the 1940's with only limited


archaeological excavation. The pits destroyed one of the most important


Neolithic and Bronze age ceremonial sites in the whole of the British


Isles. Who knows what clues to our past were lost beneath the water?


With this year's dig nearly over, time for the local villagers to get


their hands on at the annual open day. What you have in front of you


are two separate buildings and then more. Guided tours, historical tales


and a tent full of treasures all inspiring the next generation. What


has 2013 revealed? Has it been a good year? It has been a fantastic


year. We are beginning to understand more about the early Roman phases of


activity. We have had four approaches which all data to the


late first century early second century. Worst of them are in


pristine condition. That is a very personal artefact. That is something


somebody wore so it is very exciting. That is a connection with


the person 1900 years ago. We found a Roman brooch, pieces of prop ——


pottery and other things like that. I want to be an archaeologist when I


grow up. Local people can identify the artefacts and there has been in


1800 year timespan but people are still doing the same things. It is


nice to have that link with the past.


There is history everywhere you look in Dorchester on Thames like these


two beautiful cars. From road to rail and the Bochum railway tunnel.


Two years ago part of its ceiling collapsed. Our reporter has been


hearing how lives were put at risk on one of the busiest commuter


routes. We are thankful that they spotted the failure. It was


certainly a dangerous incident. Potentially thousands of lives were


put at risk. We have spoken to a Network Rail engineer who asked to


remain anonymous and he's told us that if just one data had had a


train passengers would have died. You are looking at a fatality. Two


trains would have been spinning round. It would have ripped the


train. They would have been fatalities. So what exactly


happened? Using the report we have recreated the situation in 2011.


This false roof manages the water that trips into the channel. It is


supposed to be tracked regularly but it wasn't. Three of the steel


girders that support the roof had partially collapsed. They were left


hanging just 11 inches above the top of the train. When safety stuff


under the tunnel they found more than a dozen boats were missing,


boats that were supposed to be fixing beams to the wall but had in


fact I've been missing, broken or not replaced fears. Worryingly, the


report tells us that as far back as 2008, engineers were telling the


company things were going wrong. The engineer responsible was not


suitably qualified and was not given the right support. The report said


he did not recognise the problem, didn't appreciate the risk and did


not consider more widespread concerns. Our whistle—blower who has


worked the decades on the tracks across the country says the problem


of inexperienced staff is still an issue and that passengers lives are


still being put at risk. These tunnels should be inspected more


often by competent people. Not somebody who, no disrespect, who has


just come out of university or college with a degree in one hand


and the torch in the other. They have not got enough men as it is on


the ground to do track examination. What used to be examined 34 times a


week is now examined in some parts once a week or once fortnight. That


is a bit worrying. The London to Brighton line is one of the busiest


in the country. More than 70 million passengers a year travel on the main


route and 2500 trains per week pass through the Balkan tunnel. The facts


are many of us want to travel by train is part of the problem is part


of the problem to Network Rail. The company have very little time to get


onto the railway between the last train at night and the first train


in the morning. More and more people want to travel late at night and


early in the morning. There is pressure on the night time to get on


the track. The railway staff are always fighting the tension between


running train passengers and finding the time to work on the track. When


the Balcome Tunnel was closed for emergency repairs two years ago this


was the scene at stations up and down the line. But while passengers


don't want this sort of chaos, they do want a safe railway. The London


to Kings Lynn service derailed at over 100 an hour. This is not the


first time Network Rail has been criticised. The company was fined £3


million for lapses in health and safety which led to the Potters bar


train crash in 2002. While the authors of this latest report don't


apportion blame, they did tell us they had asked Network Rail to


strengthen its regime of tunnel management to avoid similar


incidents in the future. This document has been published by the


real rate later and in it they had issues with the track in Sussex,


issues with planned maintenance I Network Rail. But the company has


insisted things are better and that the tunnel is safe. From my


perspective, I can assure the general public and our customers


that we have changed our processes and got much more accountability. We


are investing more money and if —— and from the kennels perspective I


am satisfied we have a re—engineered tunnel. And what of the future? The


regulator who can prosecute Network Rail if it feels the rules are being


broken has told us it will be closely monitoring the company to


ensure they are delivering a safe and efficient railway.


That is your lot for this week but before we go, let's have a look at a


few of your e—mails. We had a big response to last week 's computer


scam story. Charles from Southampton said.


Margaret was charged £137. Keep the e—mails coming. Next week, poor food


and not enough of it. How this man checked himself out of a care home


to cater for himself. I was a bit of a misfit in the home due to the fact


I've got my faculties and I could see what was going on. What he was


given was not very appetising.


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