British mother killed by Corfu speedboat 'was waving at it'

Millionaire British mother-of-four killed by Corfu speedboat ‘was waving to attract boat driver’s attention before he hit her’

  • Claire Glatman, 60, from Bedale in North Yorkshire died on Monday in Corfu 
  • Mrs Glatman was killed when she was hit by a vessel while in sea off Avlaki beach
  • Coroner has said that Mrs Glatman was alive for a few minutes before she died 
  • Eyewitnesses said they saw the mother-of-four waving for help in the water  

A millionaire British mother of four killed by a speedboat as she swam in the sea may have been frantically waving to attract the driver’s attention before it hit her, a coroner said today.

Witnesses said they saw experienced swimmer Claire Glatman waving her arms in the water for several minutes after she was struck by the boat.

But coroner Ioannis Aivatidis, who is investigating Mrs Glatman’s death, said it was ‘not impossible’ that she may have been desperately trying to get the attention of the speedboat driver as they approached her.

Mrs Glatman, 60, died when she was hit by a speedboat which failed to stop on Monday as she was swimming off Avlaki beach on the north of the Greek holiday island. 

Mr Aivatidis also confirmed that police on the Greek had started doing forensic tests on two boats including one owned by a millionaire hedge fund boss from the UK. 

Mrs Glatman, 60, the wife of multimillionaire property tycoon Mark (pictured together), was killed when she was hit by the vessel while in the sea off Avlaki beach

Police in Greece are examining a speedboat (above) belonging to British millionaire hedge fund boss Rob Lucas, 58, as part of their investigation into Mrs Glatman’s death 

The speedboat (above) – a 25ft long Scorpion rigid inflatable with a powerful outboard engine – has been inspected by the coroner

A locator map shows where Mrs Glatman sustained her fatal injuries at Avlaki Beach and where the speedboat suspected to have hit into her was later found  at Agios Stefanos Beach

Investigators from the Corfu Port Authority have seized both boats so that tests can be carried out to try and establish if either of them was the one which hit Mrs Glatman.

One of the vessels – a 25ft long Scorpion rigid inflatable with a powerful outboard engine – is owned by Rob Lucas, 58, who is the managing partner of global investment firm CVC Capital Partners.

It is understood that port police have spoken to him and his 18-year-old son and his 22-year-old daughter, but they have strongly denied being involved in the accident

Sources have suggested that the Lucas family who have a £5 million mansion in Hertfordshire have insisted that they and their boat were in another part of the bay where Mrs Glatman was hit.

Hedge fund manager Rob Lucas (pictured), 58, his son, 18, and daughter, 22, were questioned as possible witnesses by officers after Claire Glatman died on Monday

But his boat along with another believed to be owned by a Greek man have been hoisted out of the water and taken for examination at the harbour in Gouvia near Corfu Town.

Mrs Glatman from Bedale, North Yorkshire, who was an experienced swimmer had been staying with her millionaire property developer husband Mark, 63, and one of their daughters at their villa in Corfu which they have owned for seven years.

Corfu coroner Mr Aivatidis visited the harbour today, accompanied by two armed policemen, and announced that he was going to be examining both boats to see if either was involved.

He told a MailOnline reporter: ‘There are two speedboats which I have got to take a look at to see if there is a possibility of identifying (what caused) those injuries.

‘I want to see if they are compatible or in accordance with the autopsy findings. It may be compatible or incompatible.’

He added: ‘The owners are under investigation of course.’

Mr Aivatidis said he was assisting the port police and trying to ascertain whether the propeller of either boat could have caused Mrs Glatman’s injuries.

He said: ‘There was no hope of this woman surviving her injuries. There were internal and external haemorrhages.

‘There were some injuries to her chest, left arm and abdomen, characteristic with propeller injuries. Her right pelvis was also fractured.’

Mr Aivatidis said she had died from blood loss as a result of being hit by a boat while swimming offshore and had not drowned.

He said ‘I would like to say that this woman had no signs of drowning. There was no aspiration of sea water. It looks like it was due to the sudden movement of a motor boat.

‘I cannot tell the speed of the boat, but of course it was at some speed.’

Mr Alvatidis added: ‘I will be looking for genetic material to see if there is some evidence of it present for DNA analysis.’

Pictured is a file photograph of Avlaki Beach, which was where Mrs Glatman tragically died on Monday

The coroner suggested that the pattern of Mrs Glatman’s injuries suggested it was ‘possible’ that the boat operator may have been trying desperately to steer away to avoid her in the water.

Mr Aivatidis also said that Mrs Glatman was a long way off shore but he was unable to confirm reports that she may have been swimming 300 yards off the beach.

Coroner Ioannis Aivatidis speaks to reporters

He said: ‘It looks like it was some sudden steering… It is possible that the first part of her body that was injured was her left hand. All things are a matter of logic. Everyone can give some explanation.’

Mr Alvatidis said that Mrs Glatman’s body had been identified in a hospital morgue by her daughter

The Lucas family are believed to own a luxury home on Corfu.

Local rules in Corfu state that swimmers should not be more than 200m from shore unless they have a special buoy to make themselves more visible to boat users.

Mrs Glatman fell in love with Mr Glatman on the island 30 years ago and the couple purchased a villa more recently, the Telegraph reported.

A friend who chose to remain anonymous told the newspaper Mrs Glatman was an experienced swimmer.

Mrs Glatman swam at the spot every day while on the island, Corfu Press reported, citing friends of the family.

Villagers in Mrs Glatman’s home village of Well, where they lived in the historic Well Hall, were shocked at the death of the ‘beautiful soul’.

A neighbour said: ‘It is dreadful news. She loved Corfu and they spent a lot of time there, but she was also a popular person around Well.’

They added: ‘I knew her as a beautiful soul, friendly and very young at heart.’

Another villager said: ‘We have had a scarecrow festival this weekend gone and the whole village came together and we had a fantastic time, but this has really brought us back down to earth. 

Port authorities are involved in the investigation. Pictured: A Greek coastguard vessel

‘What a horrible thing to happen. My thoughts are with Mark and the rest of the family.’

The couple’s house was an extensive walled property, has a swimming pool and tennis courts.

They also owned a £3 million townhouse in London’s Knightsbridge as well as the villa in Corfu. 

Mrs Glatman, née Glover, was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and her husband was a solicitor who became an influential commercial property developer.

He set up the Abstract group of companies in 2000, focusing on property development and investment and venture capital projects.

The net worth of his businesses is more than £83 million.

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