A YACHTING company convicted of failing to ensure the safety of one of its vessels, which led to the death of a Romsey man, has gone into liquidation.

Stormforce Coaching director Douglas Innes, 42, confirmed on the company’s website that it has ceased trading following the recent verdict in the Cheeki Rafiki Winchester Crown Court case. Both Innes and his company were convicted following the deaths of four men in the Atlantic in 2014.

A statement on Stormforce’s website said: “Following the recent verdict in the Cheeki Rafiki trial the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) understandably suspended our recognition the same day. Without accreditations, we were unable to trade and we ceased trading a few days later, while we sought professional advice.

“Without the on-going income from its core product, the company is unable to fund its outgoings and has therefore become insolvent. It is with great sadness that I appointed an Insolvency Practitioner and I (Douglass Innes) have now handed over control of the company to them

“I am working with other industry members to try and relocate as many bookings as possible and am grateful for the good will being extended by some other sea schools who are rescuing some of our former clients.”

Innes added: “I would like to thank all those who have worked, trained and raced with Stormforce Coaching over the last sixteen years.

“Over 20,000 sailors and power boaters have joined us on training courses and our race crews have achieved podium results in numerous international regattas.

“This is in part a great testament to many of the staff that have worked with us. I would particularly like to thank those who have supported us and put their trust in us through the last three years.

“I am truly sorry this is how it has ended.”

As reported, the jury in the case were discharged on July 14 after they failed to reach verdicts on manslaughter charges.

Innes was convicted of failing to ensure the safety of the vessel, but trial judge Mr Justice Dingemans discharged the jurors at Winchester Crown Court after they were unable to reach a decision on the four manslaughter allegations, over which they had been deliberating since Tuesday lunchtime.

Innes, of Whitworth Crescent, Southampton, and his company were convicted of failing to operate the yacht in a safe manner, contrary to Section 100 of the Merchant Shipping Act. Innes, 42, showed no emotion as the chairman of the 11-person jury announced the verdicts for the two charges which were reached by a majority of 10-1.

The trial heard that the 40ft Cheeki Rafiki lost its keel when it got into trouble more than 700 miles from Nova Scotia as it was sailing back from Antigua to the UK in May 2014

The four crew members who died in the incident were James Male, 22, from Romsey, skipper Andrew Bridge, 22, from Farnham in Surreyand Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, both from Somerset.

Their bodies have never been found.