Sarah Young sailor dies during Clipper Round “the World Yacht Race”

Updated: April 3, 2016
Sarah Young sailor dies during Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Sarah Young sailor, who died while competing in a global yacht race will be buried at sea, Clipper race organisers said.

Sarah Young sailor, 40, a company owner, was washed into the sea by a wave as she tended to the mainsail aboard the IchorCoal yacht and was swept away in strong winds.

Her death comes six months after that of Andrew Ashman, 49, from Kent who was killed on the same vessel after being knocked unconscious while sailing off the Portuguese coast.

Sarah Young sailor, who was not tethered to the yacht, died in the mid-north Pacific at around 1.44pm UK time on Friday, as the boat sailed from China to Seattle, in America.

She was recovered from the sea, after being washed overboard, by crewmates who tried to resuscitate her but never regained consciousness, a race spokeswoman said.

The cause of death is yet to be confirmed but is thought to be drowning or exposure. All other crew members are safe and well.

Race organisers said a full investigation will now be carried out, as is standard practice, in cooperation with the appropriate authorities.

Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first man to sail alone non-stop around the world after setting sail from Cornwall in 1969, and who lived in South Devon for many years, said: “On behalf of everyone at Clipper Ventures, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sarah. She was a very popular and integral member of the Clipper Race family and knew our boats well, having sailed with us since London last summer.

“The safety of our crew has always been and continues to be our main priority and we shall investigate the incident immediately in full cooperation with the authorities.”

Sarah Young sailor, who was a keen adventurer, had wanted to take part in the race for a number of years and had celebrated her birthday days before setting sail from London at the end of last August.

Former paramedic Mr Ashman, who was awarded the Queen’s Medal for his 20 years’ service for London Ambulance, was less than a week into the year-long race when he died.

The Clipper Race was established almost 20 years ago and this is its 10th edition. Sarah Young sailor and Ashman are the only fatalities in the history of the race.