Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 14:16 UK

Boat officer was 'ill-prepared'

Kaylee McIntosh
Kaylee McIntosh, from Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, lost her life

An officer in charge of a boat in which an Army cadet died has admitted he was in unknown waters, had no maps and did not know the weather forecast.

Charles Milne admitted he was "ill-prepared" for the exercise in which Kaylee McIntosh, 14, of Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, drowned.

The boat she was in capsized on Loch Carnan, South Uist, last August.

Mr Milne also told a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) of the discovery of the teenager's body.

Mr Milne, 43, was in the boat directly behind Kaylee's as it set off on the exercise.

Only adult

Mr Milne, who since the exercise has been promoted to captain, was speaking on the fourth day of the FAI at Inverness Sheriff Court.

He told Simon Di Rollo QC, representing Kaylee's family, that he had not seen a weather forecast for the day, he had no maps and he had been trained in powerboats "in house" by other cadet officers.

Mr Milne, who was the only adult on his boat, was also unable to explain why he was unclear in evidence to police about the numbers on Kaylee's boat, which was being driven by cadet leader Major George McCallum.

Mr Di Rollo said: "The reality is you did not know at the time how many were in Maj McCallum's boat."

'In pickle'

Mr Milne replied: "My head would have been in a pickle after the event - you are just getting over the shock of what happened."

When asked by procurator fiscal David Teale if he was "ill-prepared", Mr Milne agreed he was.

Kaylee's family wept as Mr Milne described the moment his colleague lifted the beached boat she was under and he "lifted her up on the rocks".

The inquiry, before Sheriff Alastair MacFadyen, continues.

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