Cheeki Rafiki yacht death charges to be brought

James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren, Paul Goslin Image copyright Other
Image caption James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin were lost in the disaster

The director of the firm that managed the Cheeki Rafiki yacht has been charged with manslaughter after it capsized in 2014, killing its crew.

The 40ft yacht had been missing in the North Atlantic when it was found with no sign of its crew in May 2014.

Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren, Paul Goslin and James Male lost their lives.

Douglas Innes is charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter and will appear at Southampton Magistrates' Court on 3 November.

Mr Innes and his company Stormforce Coaching are also charged with breaking merchant shipping laws.

Skipper Mr Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surrey, Mr Male, 22, from Romsey, Mr Warren, 52, from Bridgwater in Somerset and Mr Goslin, 56, from West Camel in Somerset, were on board the Cheeki Rafiki when it began taking on water and contact was then lost.

The unoccupied 40ft yacht was found days later with its life raft still on board.

Image copyright US Navy/Reuters
Image caption A report said the Cheeki Rafiki capsized "following a detachment of its keel"

The men had been returning from Antigua Sailing Week to Southampton when they capsized approximately 720 miles (1,160km) east-south-east of Nova Scotia in Canada.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had carried out an investigation lasting more than two years into the circumstances surrounding the loss of the Cheeki Rafiki.

Stormforce Coaching said in a statement: "Our legal advisers are currently reviewing the evidence which the prosecution has served upon us in this respect.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the crew members' families during this time."