Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Cheeki Rafiki yacht deaths: Douglas Innes appears in court

James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren, Paul Goslin Image copyright Other
Image caption James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin were lost in the disaster

The director of a firm that managed a yacht which capsized in the North Atlantic, killing its crew, has appeared in court.

The 40ft Cheeki Rafiki was found by the US Coastguard in May 2014 with no sign of its four crew members after it lost its keel returning from Antigua.

James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin lost their lives.

Douglas Innes was charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

He entered no plea and was bailed to appear at Winchester Crown Court on 5 December.

Image caption Douglas Innes is charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter

Mr Innes, 41, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, and his company Stormforce Coaching were also charged with failing to ensure the vessel was operated in a safe manner.

The men were returning from Antigua Sailing Week to Southampton when they capsized approximately 720 miles (1,160km) east-south-east of Nova Scotia in Canada.

Following the hearing, relatives of the dead crew members released a statement which said their lives had been "shattered and changed forever" by the tragedy.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRelatives of the dead crew members said their lives had been "shattered and changed forever" by the tragedy
Image copyright US Navy/Reuters
Image caption A report said the Cheeki Rafiki capsized "following a detachment of its keel"

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites