Jury panel chosen for trial of yacht firm boss facing manslaughter charges

A jury panel has been selected for the trial of the director of a yachting management company charged with the manslaughter of four sailors who died when the Cheeki Rafiki capsized in the North Atlantic.

The yacht lost its keel as the crew were returning the 40ft vessel 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 restarted 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.

A panel of 20 jurors has been selected from which a jury will be sworn in on Tuesday when the prosecution is expected to open its case.