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Yacht firm boss faces manslaughter charges over Cheeki Rafiki deaths

Douglas Innes, director of Stormforce Coaching Limited, faces four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

The director of a yachting management company is to go on trial over the deaths of four sailors when the Cheeki Rafiki capsized in the North Atlantic.

The yacht lost its keel as the crew were returning the 40ft yacht from Antigua to the UK in May 2014 when it got into trouble more than 700 miles from Nova Scotia.

On board were skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surrey, as well as crew members Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, both from Somerset and James Male, 22, from Southampton, Hampshire.

The US Coastguard was criticised for calling off its search after two days, but following protests from family and friends and intervention by the British government, the search was re-started and the boat found but without any sign of the four men.

Douglas Innes, 43, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, director of Stormforce Coaching Limited, faces four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence at Winchester Crown Court which he denies.

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