Sheriff finds no fault in fatal sailboat mishap - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff finds no fault in fatal sailboat 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-1-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.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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