THE grieving family of a woman from Clacton who died following a speedboat crash has reiterated calls for new laws to make Britain’s waterways safer.

Charlotte Brown died during her champagne-fuelled first date with Jack Shepherd when his speedboat crashed in the River Thames in December 2015.

He had encouraged the 24-year-old to drive the boat even though she had no experience and they were not wearing life jackets.

Shepherd was jailed for six years’ after being found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in his absence after failing to attend his Old Bailey trial in 2018.

Gazette: Jack ShepherdJack Shepherd

He fled to Georgia, but was later extradited to the UK after handing himself in to police in the capital Tbilisi.

He lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his conviction earlier this year.

Charlotte’s mother Roz and sister Katie appeared on ITV’s Lorraine yesterday to discuss their campaign for a law aiming to bring in tighter controls on buying and driving boats.

Ms Wickens, who formerly worked for Tendring Council, said: “If I could take her place in the blink of an eye, I would have done. We miss Charlotte so dreadfully.

‘There’s a lot of bereaved families out there in the same position as us. We’re not the only ones.

“Anyone who wants to join our voice and become one, that’d be perfect.’

During Shepherd’s trial, it was revealed that anyone can hire a boat for personal use without training or a licence.

Charlotte’s family now hopes to bring in a ‘Charlie’s law’ for better safety measures for privately rented boats on the country’s waterways.

Charlotte’s sister Katie added: “He was able to take out his boat numerous times drunk, speeding, driving recklessly and with only a small fine as a potential consequence because there are no criminal laws.

‘It’s getting easier to now purchase boats from the internet, which is what he did, and just take them out with no licence.

‘When there’s no law, there’s no deterrent, and it’s very difficult to hold that person accountable if there’s something that happens.’

She added: “We need to let her legacy live on and make a change. Hopefully this would be much less likely to happen if those laws were in place.’”