Jacob, 24, dies two years after horror fall off billionaire's boat

By Amy Downward | Telford | News | Published:

A much loved engineer has died, two years after suffering brain damage in a fall from a yacht owned by a billionaire friend of Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich.

Jacob Nicol was initially being treated at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, before he was moved to Hunters Moor Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Birmingham, then to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

For two years the 24-year-old battled to get better and his family said he was making progress.

However, Jacob died of pneumonia on June 7 due to a lack of movement because of his hypoxic brain injury.

His sister Jenade Moon lives with her three children and husband, Chris, in Madeley.

She said: "Jacob showed strength in the hardest of trials. He had managed to say 'Mum', 'home' and 'no'. He was using flash cards to try and communicate.

"He showed determination during the most strenuous of times. He fought for his life.

Jacob Nicol

"Jacob can now rest in peace knowing he tried his best, knowing that he has shown what resilience is, knowing that he has left a forever lasting impression on those that have known him personally and those that have followed his journey."


Jacob suffered a fractured skull after falling into the sea as he cleaned the Kibo yacht, owned by billionaire Alexander Mamut, near the Majorcan port of Puerto Portals on May 3, 2015.

He had spent nine months working as a third assistant engineer on the yacht before the accident, which is understood to have happened after the fender hook he was rigged to gave way.

His family say he was hit on the head by the 20 kilo hook and was under the water for several minutes. He was 100ft from the vessel when he was rescued by its captain.

Jacob was in a coma for 10 days at Son Espases Hospital in the Majorcan capital Palma before being repatriated to Shropshire to be close to his family.


Mrs Moon, 26, said recently although Jacob was making progress he started to get a lot of chest infections.

She said: "He had been in and out of Heartlands Hospital since December due to coughs and colds.

"Mum contacted Marie Curie as we did not want him to pass away in hospital. He was then moved to a hospice in Solihull.

"The room he had was comfortable and calm. He passed away peacefully. All the family want to say a huge thank you to all the nurses, doctors and staff who looked after Jacob."

Jacob’s mum Christine Long, 43, a health and safety officer, had moved to Telford from Cornwall so she could be nearer her son.

She stayed at the hospice every day until Jacob died.

Jacob’s family claim his accident could have been avoided.

They launched a fundraising internet page to raise money for medical care and possible legal fees for Jacob. They raised a total of £14,543.

Mrs Moon added: "What we want to happen next is to get what happened to Jacob properly investigated.

"We will fight to get justice for Jacob."

Amy Downward

By Amy Downward

Based at the head office in Ketley covering the north Shropshire area.

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