US Sailing panel to probe N. Calif. yacht accident

Associated Press Published: May 1, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Coast Guard is asking sailing's national governing body to investigate last month's fatal yacht racing accident off the San Francisco coast.

U.S. Sailing on Tuesday announced a panel of experienced sailors who will look into the accident that killed five sailors. The Low Speed Chase was competing near the Farallon Islands when a wave knocked the 38-foot yacht onto the rocks.

The Coast Guard has suspended yacht racing in the ocean outside San Francisco Bay until the investigation is complete.

The panel will look into factors that caused the accident and determine if safety improvements can be made. It's expected to issue its report in a month.

U.S. Sailing President Gary Jobson has said he hopes to convene a similar panel in San Diego after a 37-foot yacht was found in pieces Saturday. Three sailors were killed and one is missing.