Yacht tragedy caused by faulty keel

A YACHT capsized killing a Suffolk crew man following faults with its keel which had been worked on by a sub-contractor with “no marine experience”, an accident report revealed today.

A YACHT capsized killing a Suffolk crew man following faults with its keel which had been worked on by a sub-contractor with “no marine experience”, an accident report revealed today.

Jamie Butcher, 27, from Mildenhall, died on February 3 when the keel on the Max Fun 35 yacht Hooligan V broke off and the vessel capsized in winds gusting to 35 knots, ten miles off Prawle Point, Devon.

The report into the incident, compiled by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, found that to “reduce costs”, the sub-contractor had changed the design of the keel without adequately assessing the stresses to which the keel would be subjected.

Also, faults with the keel were not spotted when the vessel was taken in for repairs and maintenance at the end of a successful racing season last year.


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