Boat capsizes, four sailors die. Is the culprit the manager?

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cheeky-rafikiFour British sailors died in the Atlantic between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the Azores in May 2014 after the First 40.7 “Cheeky Rafiki” capsized. An affair that had shaken the sailing world and, as of today, takes on crucial importance.

A CASE OF CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE
A unique case, because usually the person responsible is never identified in these situations. Instead, the manager of the boat was charged with manslaughter. (Douglas Innes of the British charter and sailing school company Stormforce Coaching), for gross negligence in preparing the boat, aboard which the four unfortunate sailors were returning to Southampton from Antigua Sailing Week. The charge comes after a two-year investigation by the Coast Guard aimed at reconstructing the dynamics of the accident. It is an important case law (should it come to conviction) that should warn those who do not adequately prepare the boat to sustain high seas sailings that cause serious and/or fatal accidents to the crew.

The site of the accident
The site of the accident

WHAT HAD HAPPENED
There had been speculation that the four had abandoned the boat aboard the life rafts provided: rafts that were instead found aboard the capsized wreck of the First 40.7 “Cheeky Rafiki,” on which the sailors were returning to England.

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The four sailors who died in the Atlantic

AN ODYSSEY WITH A TRAGIC END
The search, which was called off two days after the accident, only to resume following numerous appeals that came in from the web, coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard in cooperation with World Cruising Club magazine, ended after the boat was found. No hope for Paul Goslin, 56, Steve Warren, 52, Andrew Bridge, 22, and James Male, 23.

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