The investigation of a fatal man overboard

from the Reflex 38 yacht Lion14.5 miles south of Selsey Bill, West Sussex

The Yacht "Lion"


At 0036 on 18 June 2011 the skipper of the yacht Lion fell overboard and drowned while still attached to the yacht by means of a tether connected to his lifejacket harness. Lion sailed from Southampton on 17 June 2011 to compete in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) 95-mile Morgan Cup Race to Cherbourg. The weather conditions were challenging for the yacht’s crew, with winds gusting 25-30 knots and rough seas. At 0027 on 18 June, the helmsman noticed the No.1 genoa, which had been secured on deck following a sail change, had slipped into the water. The sail was recovered on board and was being passed by hand into the cockpit when it was noticed that the skipper had fallen over the port side near the bow. The skipper was still connected to the starboard jackline by his 1.8m-long tether. The mainsheet was immediately slackened and the foresail was released a short time later, which slowed the yacht’s speed to 1.5 knots through the water.
Click HERE to read the full report