The deaths of Jun Chen, 44, and his father, Chao Chen, 73, in a tragic sailing accident Sunday afternoon in San Diego Harbor has raised questions about the wisdom of taking 10 people — eight adults and two children, one of whom was autistic — out on a MacGregor 26. George Saidah, founder of the nonprofit Heart of Sailing Foundation that offers sailboat rides to people with disabilities, says that he’s taken that many people out before without issue. He also claims he properly filled Nessie‘s water ballast tanks and lowered the retractable keel, but that a gust of wind — it was blowing about 13 — laid the boat over.
Roger MacGregor, founder of MacGregor Yachts, responded that the boat was definitely overloaded for its size. Ten people, including at least one disabled child, on a water-ballasted MacGregor 26? We’ll let the Harbor Patrol conduct an investigation to determine the facts about this tragic accident, but we suspect the cause was a combination of ignorance and a lack of common sense.