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aground it was

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aground it was

An independent review panel investigating the deaths of four sailors said 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 Tuesday. The panel drew its conclusion after gathering information from race organizers, collecting data from the Aegean’s track during the race and meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard San Diego Sector’s investigation team. A full report from US Sailing is expected by the end of July, including recommendations to the sailing community.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Dave McCarthy declined to comment on the panel’s findings. He said he believed the Coast Guard was close to completing its own investigation.

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, which rises sharply out of the Pacific Ocean southwest of San Diego. Read on