ACCIDENT REVIEW: US Sailing to study 2013 Islands Race

Published on March 20th, 2013

The 2013 Islands Race Organizing Authorities of San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club have jointly requested that US Sailing, national governing body of the sport, conduct an independent review of the sailing accident that occurred during the race on Friday, March 8 off the coast of Southern California that resulted in the death of a sailor.

A panel of sailing experts will study the event and circumstances encountered by the crew of Uncontrollable Urge during the 2013 Islands Race. The panel will be responsible for researching the factors involved by reviewing safety policies and procedures, and the usage of safety equipment. The panel will determine what lessons can be learned from the accident and present recommendations for future consideration.

Crew members aboard Uncontrollable Urge encountered dangerous conditions when their vessel’s rudder failed while sailing along the shore of San Clemente Island. Rough seas drove the 32-foot sailboat into the surf line causing major damage and the crew of six were forced to abandon the vessel. When the Coast Guard arrived at the scene, five sailors were rescued but one died.

The fourth annual Islands Race began Friday, March 8 in Long Beach and ended Saturday, March 9 in San Diego. The route is 139 nautical miles and rounds San Clemente and Catalina Islands. Uncontrollable Urge was one of 40 boats competing in the race.

The members of the Independent Review Panel are Bill Stump (Venice, Calif.), John Jourdane (Long Beach, Calif.), Dave Ullman (Santa Ana, Calif.), and Betty Sue Sherman (San Diego, Calif.). Medical expertise will be provided by Dr. Steve Shea (Long Beach, Calif.), Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital. Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Chairman of the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee, will act as an advisor to the panel.

Full report: http://media.ussailing.org/Latest_News/2013/Islands_Race_032013.htm

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