Cheeki Rafiki yacht manager avoids manslaughter charges

Jul 20, 2017 by To the Triton

The jury in the case of a yacht manager on trial in the deaths of the S/Y Cheeki Rafiki crew was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on four manslaughter charges.

Douglas Innes, 42, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, and his company, Stormforce Coaching Limited, were convicted of failing to operate the yacht in a safe manner, contrary to Section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act. Innes, showed no emotion as the jury chairperson announced the verdicts for the two charges, which were reached by a majority of 10-1.

The trial judge at Winchester Crown Court then discharged the 11 jurors, who had deliberated for days over the manslaughter charges without reaching a verdict.

The 40-foot Cheeki Rafiki lost its keel more than 700 miles from Nova Scotia as the crew were returning from Antigua to England in May 2014.

The bodies of Skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, James Male, 22, Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, were never found, although the boat was eventually recovered.

Prosecutor Nigel Lickley told jurors that the yacht was neglected and not inspected as required. He said the yacht was not appropriately coded – licensed for the voyage – and Innes had chosen an unsafe northern route because it was shorter and enabled the yacht to return back to the U.K. in time for booked charters.

Innes denied he had cut costs or tried to save time by sending the yacht back via the northern route. He told the court that any fault with the keel had lain hidden and would not necessarily have been found by an inspector, and that he believed the yacht had not required the coding because he did not consider the journey to be a commercial voyage.

Source: The Guardian


Related Articles

Crew duties first before water toy fun

This month’s survey started off with simple intentions. We wanted to take a break from the recent heady topics of leadership, discrimination and compensation to ask yacht captains and

City marina honored

St. Augustine Municipal Marina has been named Florida’s second Clean and Resilient Marina by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It is the first public marina to earn the …

June’s brokerage news

June’s brokerage news

Heesen Heesen has sold YN 18151, a 168-foot (51m) semi-displacement aluminum motoryacht below 500GT. Its exterior lines and interiors are by Eidsgaard Design. SuperYachtsMonaco brokered the deal. It …

Capt. Schwaner cooks his way to the captain’s chair

Capt. Schwaner cooks his way to the captain’s chair

Capt. Scott Schwaner never thought he would be on a boat in New Orleans. However, after voyaging around the globe for nearly 40 years, he’s returned to his roots

Crew’s Mess: Easy ponzu sauce

Crew’s Mess: Easy ponzu sauce

Crew’s Mess: by Capt. John Wampler One of the best things about working in the yacht industry is enjoying the fruits of the sea. Wahoo, mahi-mahi and tuna are frequent

Fleet Miami partners with ISS on research charters

Fleet Miami has partnered with the International SeaKeepers Society to take charter guests on a research expeditions. The pilot charter was scheduled to begin Aug. 15 aboard Fleet Miami’s …