Sir Robin comments on Cheeki Rafiki incident report

28 April 2015

The official report into the incident involving the sailing vessel, Cheeki Rafiki, has been released from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Clipper Race Chairman and Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has reviewed the report and has made the following comments regarding safety at, a subject always close to his heart:

“The report into the Cheeki Rafiki tragedy has been released with a key recommendation being: On long offshore passages, search and rescue support cannot be relied upon in the same way as it is when operating closer to the coast, and yachts’ crews need a much higher degree of self-sufficiency in the event of an emergency. Thus the selection and stowage of safety and survival equipment needs to be very carefully considered before embarking, together with options for contingency planning and self-help in anticipation of problems that could occur during the passage.

“This recommendation is one that all our Clipper Race crews and families should note. Of course the Clipper Race yachts are checked and equipped to the highest standards set by the Maritime Coastguard Agency, and we do not stint on safety.

“In fact we do far more to acquaint and educate our crews for ocean racing than anyone else.

“For the reassurance of families, in this case the boat was on its own and there was no nearby assistance or rescue available but there is inherent safety in a fleet racing together as it means that another boat is seldom more than hours away, often minutes, and our fleet maintain good communications between themselves.

“Safety is our concern but the crew’s responsibility. We cannot be with the crew racing out at sea so we focus on encouraging the crews so they make every effort to learn where everything is and how it works aboard the yachts.”

To read the full report and its findings, click here.

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