Mich. sheriff finds no fault in fatal boat mishap



CHARLEVOIX, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says the capsizing of a sailboat that killed two crew members during a race in Lake Michigan was a tragic accident and no one was at fault.

Charlevoix (CHAR’-luh-voy) County Sheriff Don Schneider released a report Friday from an 11-week investigation of the mishap that happened during the July 18 running of the Chicago-to-Mackinac (MAK’-ih-naw) race. The 35-foot WingNuts overturned during a fierce storm around midnight.

Fifty-one-year-old skipper Mark Morley and 40-year-old Suzanne Makowski-Bickel died. A competing vessel rescued the other six crew members.

Schneider said a medical examiner’s report listed blunt force trauma to the head as the primary cause of death, with drowning as a secondary cause. He told the Petoskey News-Review the crew prepared for the storm properly by wearing personal floatation devices.