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Top 10 Stories: Aegean Yacht Crash

Redondo Beach Patch is counting down its 10 biggest local stories from 2012. No. 8: The Aegean crashes during the Newport Beach to Ensenada Yacht Race.

It's been a crazy year. Redondo Beach Patch writers were busy writing about homicides, television episodes and dancing firefighters, among other topics. Here is the No. 8 story of the year, chosen by popularity and editorial discretion.

Investigation Continues Into Aegean Crash (No. 8)

What happened to the Aegean, a sailboat competing in the annual Newport Beach to Ensenada Yacht Race, may remain a mystery.

A report released by U.S. Sailing claims the yacht crashed into Mexico's North Coronado Island, killing the four crewmen aboard, due to "inadequate lookout."

The family of Theo Mavromatis, a Redondo Beach resident who was the boat's skipper, disagreed with the report's findings. In an email sent to reporters, Mavromatis' daughter Anna Mavromati criticized U.S. Sailing's team as a group of volunteers with no expertise in investigations.

Additionally, statements from Mavromatis' family, as well as Mike Patton, who decided not to be part of the crew at the last minute, indicate that safety was always a top priority for Mavromatis, an experienced sailor.

The U.S. Coast Guard's investigation of the incident is ongoing. A group of sailors and divers conducting their own independent investigation found debris from the Aegean near the tip of North Coronado Island. The group shared its results with the Coast Guard.

The crash occurred in the early morning hours of April 28. Mavromatis, Bill Johnson of Torrance, Kevin Rudolph of Manhattan Beach and Joe Stewart of Bradenton, Fla. were killed in the crash. Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for the men at the Redondo Beach Pier.

Related:

  • Sailors Find Debris at North Coronado Island
  • Panel: Aegean Hit North Coronado Island
  • Daughter: Aegean Crew Loved Adventure
  • Memorial Set for Aegean Crash Victims
  • U.S. Sailing to Investigate Aegean Crash
  • Coroner ID’s Body as Missing Skipper Theo Mavromatis
  • Questions Surround Aegean Crash
  • 5th Crewman: Crash 'Should Not Have Happened'
  • Aegean Crew ID'd; Search Called Off

To view this year's other top stories, click here.

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