Finding on Ensenda Race mishap


After the news was announced of the loss of Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter, and the deaths of the four sailors who were aboard, there was much discussion and speculation on the web and at dockside as to the reason for the accident. The mishap occured in the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Race on April 28. Now a review panel assembled by US Sailing has issued a finding on the deadly accident.   

From the press release: A US Sailing Independent Review Panel has come to a conclusion regarding the cause of accident during the 2012 Newport to Ensenada Race that resulted in the deaths of four sailors on April 28. Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376 sailboat, was destroyed during the race a few miles offshore near Mexico’s Coronado Islands. Following extensive research, the Panel is confident that a grounding on North Coronado Island is the cause of accident.

The Panel gathered information from race organizers, collected data from the Aegean’s track during the Race, and met with the US Coast Guard San Diego Sector’s investigation team. The Panel came to a conclusion after reviewing the evidence that was assembled, including material from the tracking device on board Aegean, and information provided by race organizers of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association. The Panel will continue their efforts to document the accident, draw conclusions, share the lessons learned and offer recommendations to the sailing community. A full report from US Sailing is expected by end of July.

The members of the Independent Review Panel are Chairperson, Bruce Brown (Costa Mesa, Calif.), John Winder (Annisquam, Mass.), Alan Andrews (Corona del Mar, Calif.), Ed Adams (Middletown, R.I.), and Alan McMillan (Pensacola, Fla.). The Offshore Special Regulations Consultant on the panel is Evans Starzinger (Milford, Conn). The Safety at Sea Committee Chair and Review Panel Liaison is Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, Calif.). Medical Advisors are Dr. Michael Jacobs (Vineyard Haven, Mass.), Dr. Kent Benedict (Aptos, Calif.) and Dr. Steven Shea (Long Beach, Calif.). Jim Wildey (Annapolis, Md.) advises on investigation procedures and formats.

For relevant inquiries regarding the Newport to Ensenada Race review from the media or to provide pertinent information and helpful commentary on the incident or race, please contact US Sailing at

The US Coast Guard investigation is still open. Media inquiries for the US Coast Guard San Diego sector should be directed to Henry Dunphy at (619) 278-7025 or

By Ocean Navigator