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Father tells court of losing son at sea in Cheeki Rafiki incident

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The father of one of the four S/Y Cheeki Rafiki crew who died when the yacht capsized in the Atlantic in 2014 described in court the harrowing experience of learning his son was lost at sea, according to British news sources. Graham Male, father of 22-year-old James Male, said he was sent a photograph of the upturned boat with the life raft intact.

“I knew as soon as I saw that life raft in there,” he said.

The trial of British yacht manager Douglas Innes began June 7 in Winchester Crown Court. He is charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter, as well as two charges of failing to operate the yacht in a safe manner — one against him and one against his company, Stormforce Coaching. Both Innes and the company have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Along with Mr. Male, Skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, also died after the yacht lost its keel 700nm off Nova Scotia, Canada. The court previously heard several keel bolts had failed. Prosecutors said Innes was more interested in saving money than protecting the inexperienced crew of the doomed yacht. For the latest from the prosecution’s case, click here.

For previous Triton reports, click here.

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