THE trial of the director of a yachting management company charged with the manslaughter of four sailors - including Farnham’s Andy Bridge - who died when their racing yacht capsized in the North Atlantic got under way this week.
The 40ft Cheeki Rafiki got into trouble after losing its keel on its return from Antigua to the UK in May 2014, more than 700 miles from Nova Scotia. On board were 22-year-old skipper Andy, a former member of Frensham Sailing Club and pupil of Weydon School, as well as crew members Steve Warren, 52, and Pail Goslin, 56, both from Somerset, and James Male, 22, from Southampton.
An international search effort was launched and eventually found the upturned hull of the Southampton-managed yacht. But there was no sign of any of the four men whose bodies have never been found.
Douglas Innis, 43, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, director of Stormforce Coaching Limited which owned the yacht, faces four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence at Winchester Crown Court, which he denies. The trial continues.