Independent panel believes yacht struck island



SAN DIEGO (AP) — An independent review panel investigating the deaths of four sailors says it believes the 37-foot sailboat Aegean ran aground on North Coronado Island off the Mexican coast on April 28 during the Newport to Ensenada Race.

The US Sailing Independent Review announced its finding on Tuesday. The panel gathered information from race organizers, collected data from the Aegean’s track during the race and met with the U.S. Coast Guard San Diego Sector’s investigation team. A full report from US Sailing is expected by end of July.

The Coast Guard investigation is still open.

Race officials originally believed the Aegean was destroyed in a collision with a larger ship in the middle of the night. That theory was undercut when a website that tracks boats by GPS showed the Aegean’s course heading straight into the rocky island.