Teen champ critical after speedboat crash

Australia

A 17-year-old girl remains in a critical condition after a speedboat accident during a race in Perth, but her parents say the champion competitor will fight hard to recover and return to the sport.

Phoebe Knudsen had on Sunday been competing at a West Australian Speed Boat Club event on the Swan River in Burswood when she reportedly became trapped under the capsized vessel.

The former junior speed boat racing state champion has been competing for more than three years.

Phoebe’s parents, Alison and Lennart Knudsen, said her boat was basically the same one she used when she won the 2017 WA 15 horsepower junior speedboat champion title.

She remains in the intensive care unit at Royal Perth Hospital in an induced coma.

“She will be fighting hard to recover and get back to the sport she loves,” Mr and Mrs Knudsen said.

“She loves a challenge and she will take this as a challenge to overcome.”

Mr Knudsen has more than 10 years of competitor experience and Phoebe’s sister Kayla was the first female to win a junior speedboat title.

The family said Phoebe was wearing all the required safety gear at the time.

WA Department of Transport director of waterways safety Chris Mather said the event was approved on the condition a detailed safety management system was in place.

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