Mum could face trial over son’s river death
A TOWNSVILLE mum who was towing her son on an inflatable tube when he was thrown onto sharp rocks and died could face court over his death.
Luke Powell, 15, died on December 3 when he landed on jagged rocks on the banks of the Ross River.
The tube Luke was riding flipped over when the jetski his mum Shelley Powell was driving attempted to turn.
Ms Powell was towing her son when he was thrown onto the bank, suffering serious head and chest injuries.
Witnesses attempted to revive Luke but he couldn't be saved.
According to the Townsville Bulletin, Ms Powell could be forced to stand trial over her son's death after she was charged under the Marine Safety Act.
Her charge relates to the general obligation on a person involved with the operation of a water craft to operate it safely.
Ms Powell was charged in March and her lawyer Viviana Keegan told the court today they will attempt to conference with police prosecution.
Ms Powell's charge is expected to be next mentioned on June 7 in Townsville Magistrates Court.
Following Luke's death, Queensland Police issued a warning to water users of the ever-present danger.
"As I understand it, his mother was driving the jet ski so our thoughts and wishes are with her at the moment. It's a reminder to all of us that any sort of water-based activities are inherently dangerous … I'd encourage us all to be careful when we are on the water," inspector Mark Jackson said.
After Luke's death, the section of river where he died was inspected - revealing a number of dangerous, underwater obstructions.
Maritime Safety Queensland then decided to close the stretch of Townsville's Ross River to all power boating until further notice.
The area surrounding the Loam Island Boat Ramp and Vickers Bridge now allows limited activities.
A six-knot speed limit was put in place for the area and only waterskiing is allowed.
Toboggans, tubes and any similar water recreational activity is banned.
After Luke's death, the family released a statement - saying their boy loved everything about the water.
"Luke was a loveable larrikin and a beautiful young man," the statement read. "Our family is devastated by his loss and are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy."