FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jake Fish
US Sailing Communications Manager
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (June 12, 2012) - A US Sailing Independent Review Panel has come to a conclusion regarding the cause of accident during the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Race that resulted in the deaths of four sailors on April 28. Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376 sailboat, was destroyed during the race a few miles offshore near Mexico’s Coronado Islands. Following extensive research, the Panel is confident that a grounding on North Coronado Island is the cause of accident.
The Panel gathered information from race organizers, collected data from the Aegean’s track during the Race, and met with the US Coast Guard San Diego Sector’s investigation team. The Panel came to a conclusion after reviewing the evidence that was assembled, including material from the tracking device on board Aegean, and information provided by race organizers of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association. The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by July.
The members of the Independent Review Panel are Chairperson, Bruce Brown (Costa Mesa, Calif.), John Winder (Annisquam, Mass.), Alan Andrews (Corona del Mar, Calif.), Ed Adams (Middletown, R.I.), and Alan McMillan (Pensacola, Fla.). The Offshore Special Regulations Consultant on the panel is Evans Starzinger (Milford, Conn). The Safety at Sea Committee Chair and Review Panel Liaison is Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, Calif.). Medical Advisors are Dr. Michael Jacobs (Vineyard Haven, Mass.), Dr. Kent Benedict (Aptos, Calif.) and Dr. Steven Shea (Long Beach, Calif.). Jim Wildey (Annapolis, Md.) advises on investigation procedures and formats.
The US Coast Guard investigation is still open. Media inquiries for the US Coast Guard San Diego sector should be directed to Henry Dunphy at (619) 278-7025 or Henry.G.Dunphy@uscg.mil.
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.