A sailboat competing in the annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race likely ran aground before it splintered and sank, according to an official report released Tuesday.
On April 28, the Aegean crashed into the rocky shore off North Coronado Island, one of several Mexican-controlled islands about 15 miles south of San Diego Bay, according to an independent panel investigation by U.S. Sailing, the sport's governing body.
All four aboard the 37-foot, Redondo Beach-based vessel were killed: skipper Theo Mavromatis, 49, of Redondo Beach; William Reed Johnson, 57, of Torrance; Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, of Bradenton, Fla.; and Kevin Rudolph, 53, of Manhattan Beach.
Mavromatis, Johnson and Rudolph died from blunt-force trauma, and Stewart drowned, according to San Diego County's medical examiner.
In the days following the Aegean's accident, race organizers surmised that the sailboat was struck by a large commercial ship because its remnants were decimated so completely. Small splinters were found floating in the ocean.