A Briton who died in a yachting accident off the coast of Sardinia has been named as Dean Kronsbein, a millionaire businessman and classic car enthusiast who hosted celebrities on his land.
Kronsbein, 61, died after his yacht Amore smashed into rocks off the exclusive Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, in northern Sardinia.
He survived the impact of the collision, but died of cardiac arrest on the way to hospital.
Kronsbein’s wife Sabine (59) and his daughter Sophia (27) were seriously injured in the accident that happened on Sunday evening.
The captain of the 70ft yacht has been placed under investigation by prosecutors in Sardinia.
“He is under investigation but has not been arrested,” Egidio Caredda, a lawyer representing the Kronsbein family, told The Telegraph.
“Both the wife and daughter suffered very, very serious injuries. The daughter has undergone an operation in hospital. The wife also has serious trauma, but is no longer in danger of losing her life.
– We collect statements from witnesses. The autopsy on Mr. Kronsbein will be performed tomorrow.”
His son, Dustin, has flown out to Sardinia from the UK. Kronsbein, who was of German origin, owned a company that makes filters and face masks called Ultrafilter Medical, based in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire.
He lived in a large 100 acre country estate called Cubberley House near Ross-on-Wye.
In June, the estate hosted an event involving the Bentley Drivers Club, which was attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
The event was also attended by Richard Hammond, the former Top Gear presenter, who promoted his classic car restoration service, The Smallest Cog.
Last year, Hammond, the star of The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime, appeared for the opening of a new factory built by Ultrafilter Medical. He developed a friendship with Mr Kronsbein based on their shared love of cars.
The accident happened around 8.50pm on Sunday near Li Nibani, a cluster of granite islands off the north-east coast of Sardinia.
After the Amore ran into rocks on a small island, survivors were picked up by a boat belonging to Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former prime minister. The Sweet Dragon happened to be in the area and was directed to the crash site by the Coast Guard.
The three-time premier has a villa in Sardinia, where he has hosted the likes of Tony Blair as well as his infamous bunga bunga parties with starlets and models but is not believed to have been on board.
The Coast Guard is investigating suggestions that the skipper of the Amore swerved dramatically to avoid an oncoming boat.
After crashing into rocks, the yacht partially sank. It has been salvaged by the Coast Guard and towed to nearby Porto Cervo.
The boat has been seized while the Italian authorities carry out an investigation.
They will try to “determine whether the yacht’s speed and attempts to avoid other boats in the area may be among the causes of the accident,” the coast guard said in a statement.
Mr Kronsbein knew Sardinia well, having bought a four-bedroom villa on the island two years ago.
“We’ve been renting here every summer and I thought it was a good time to buy,” he told the Financial Times.
He said he thought real estate in Sardinia was a good bet because development is strictly controlled.
“The houses are built to slide into the hillsides and not stick out and spoil the landscape.”
In a statement, his family said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that Dean Kronsbein has been killed in a boating accident.
“A much loved and respected family man, friend and business colleague, it is a huge shock and he will be deeply missed by all who were privileged to know him.
“We politely ask that the family be given time and space to come to terms with the loss.”