MAIB has published a report about the capsize and full inversion of self-righting keelboat RS Venture Connect. On 12 June 2019, Blackwell Sailing’s self-righting RS Venture Connect keelboat sail number 307 (RSVC 307) suffered a capsize and full inversion while sailing on Windermere, England. The boat was crewed by an experienced disabled sailor at the helm and a local sailing instructor who was acting as crewman.
Having been knocked down by gusty winds, RSVC 307 initially lay on its starboard side with its two crew still in their seats. The boat’s liftable keel then slid back into the hull, following which the boat inverted completely, trapping the disabled helmsman under the hull. The crewman was able to swim clear, but with the keel retracted he was unable to right RSVC 307 unaided.
The boat was righted by the Windermere Lake Wardens working with the crew of the sailing centre’s safety boat, and the helmsman was recovered from the water. Attempts to resuscitate him in the Lake Warden’s boat and on shore were unsuccessful.
– the boat’s weighted keel was not secured, and it retracted into its casing when the boat was knocked down
– the requirement for the keel ‘restraining’ strap to be fastened was not stated in the Owner’s Manual
– none of the Blackwell Sailing instructors involved in the rigging or use of the boat on the day of the accident were aware of the keel strap’s function or importance
– a total inversion of the boat had not been identified as a risk, so the safety boat crew were insufficiently prepared
– the RYA inspections of Blackwell Sailing did not prompt the centre to reassess its risks
A recommendation (2020/141) has been made to Blackwell Sailing to review its safety management system in light of the new guidance.
A recommendation (2020/142) has also been made to the Royal Yachting Association aimed at improving the support provided to Sailability centres.
Read the pdf report at: RS Venture Connect sail number 307 MAIB report