US Sailing Releases Report on 2013 Islands Race Tragedy in Southern California

US Sailing has released a report of an independent review panel on its investigation of the sailing accident that occurred off the coast of Southern California on Friday, March 8 during the 2013 Islands Race. The accident resulted in the death of a sailor.

The 2013 Islands Race Organizing Authorities of the San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club jointly requested that US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the Sport, conduct an independent review of the accident to study the event and circumstances encountered by the crew of Uncontrollable Urge during the race. The panel was responsible for researching the factors pertaining to the accident by reviewing safety policies, procedures and equipment.

The panel has identified a set of recommendations for consideration to help prevent similar future tragedies. The panel shared their report with the Organizing Authorities, crew of Uncontrollable Urge, and family members of the deceased sailor.

Crew members aboard Uncontrollable Urge, a Columbia Carbon 32 sailboat, 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 was forced to abandon the vessel. The Coast Guard was able to rescue five of the six sailors aboard.

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

A summary of the panel’s findings and recommendations are detailed in the report.

Courtesy of ussailing.org

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