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Teen Killed By Mooring Rope


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Freak Yacht Crash Kills NT Girl

A Darwin family has been rocked by tragedy after a boat accident in Thailand claimed their daughter's life. Ali van Os, 16, who was fatally injured when a huge "superyacht" surged into a wharf where she was standing, was yesterday remembered as a beautiful and entrancing girl. Her parents, Darwin author Joanne van Os and her husband, barrister Lex Silvester, had to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off Ali's life support system at 6pm last night.

Family friend Terri Robson yesterday said the family were "very upset" but they wanted to thank friends in the Territory for their support over the past week. She said Ali was an "amazing young woman". "Ali's just one of those people that's just so engaging," she said. "People were entranced by her."

The incident happened at Yacht Haven marina on the north of Phuket Island. Ali had been with her parents on a friend's boat when the yacht sailed in and she rushed over to have a closer look as it was tied up. It is believed the yacht surged forward into the wharf and Ali was hit in the head by a 10cm wide mooring rope known as a hawser. Thai authorities are investigating the incident.

Ali was rushed to Bangkok Hospital in Phuket where her family said she received "world-class" care, but she had lost a lot of blood and tests showed her brain was not functioning.

Another friend said that Ali and her family had received "excellent" treatment from the hospital, officials and authorities. Ms Robson said many family members had rushed to Thailand to hold a vigil by Ali's bedside. "Jo said that she's comfortable," she said. "She's not feeling any pain - the pain is obviously with her family and friends."

Ms van Os is a well-known author, famous for her children's book Brumby Plains and her memoir Outback Heart. Mr Silvester is a prominent barrister in Darwin and is well known for his love of fishing.

Northern Territory News,February 24th, 2009

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