Official report on the loss of yacht ‘Cheeki Rafiki’ in May 2014

Predictably, the report from the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch puts the blame for the loss of Cheeki Rafiki mainly on the failure of the keel – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cheeki-rafiki-atlantic-yacht-disaster-5599764

Unfortunately, since it wasn’t possible to recover the wreck, we can’t tell whether flaws in the design and construction of the yacht contributed to the disaster.

The Daily Mirror reports:

…the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had undertaken to work with the Royal Yachting Association to clarify the requirements for the stowage of inflatable liferafts on such vessels, and the Royal Yachting Association has drafted enhancements to its Sea Survival Handbook relating to the possibility of a keel failure.

The MAIB made a recommendation to the British Marine Federation to co-operate with certifying authorities, manufacturers and repairers with the aim of developing best practice industry-wide guidance on the inspection and repair of yachts where a glass reinforced plastic matrix and hull have been bonded together.

A recommendation has also been made to the MCA to provide more-explicit guidance about circumstances under which commercial certification for small vessels is required, and when it is not.

Let’s hope some useful lessons will be learned.

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