Stormforce Coaching director Douglas Innes today pleaded not guilty to four counts of causing manslaughter by gross negligence and two charges of failing to operate a vessel in a safe manner
Douglas Innes, the director of Stormforce Coaching, appeared in Winchester Crown Court today to plead not guilty to four counts of causing manslaughter by gross negligence in the case of Cheeki Rafiki. The Beneteau 40.7 capsized in the North Atlantic some 700 miles off Nova Scotia in May 2014 on her return from Antigua Sailing Week to Southampton. The yacht was found without her keel, with the four men onboard lost, presumed dead.
The four manslaughter charges relate to the deaths of Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surrey, Mr Male, 22, from Romsey, Hampshire, Mr Warren, 52, from Bridgwater in Somerset and Mr Goslin, 56, from West Camel in Somerset.
Mr Innes, 41, of Southampton, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the vessel was operated in a safe manner, and a sixth charge on behalf of his company Stormforce Coaching, also of failing to ensure the vessel was operated in a safe manner.
Judge Mr Justice Dingemans adjourned the case with a trial date set for 6 June, 2017.