Crew mem­ber swept overboard, dies at sea

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

EN ROUTE to Seat­tle dur­ing the ninth leg of the Clip­per Round the World yacht race, a crew mem­ber was swept overboard in high seas and drowned.

Sarah Young, 40, was sail­ing on board the Clip­per yacht Ichor Coal on April 1 when she was knocked from her po­si­tion by a wave, a Clip­per state­ment said.

In 35-40 knots of wind “she fell back to­ward the guard wire and was swept un­der it by another wave. She was not teth­ered on to the yacht at this time and was swept away in strong winds.”

The boat im­me­di­ately ap­plied its man overboard drill but was ham­pered by the con­di­tions and lack of di­rect vis­ual. Her body was re­cov­ered on board us­ing her AIS sig­nal and although re­sus­ci­ta­tion was at­tempted, it was not suc­cess­ful.

“The cause of death is yet to be con­firmed but is sus­pected as drown­ing or ex­po­sure. All other crew are re­ported safe and well and the team are work­ing with race of­fi­cials to eval­u­ate the op­tions on di­ver­sion or con­tin­u­ing to Seat­tle.

“A full in­ves­ti­ga­tion will now be car­ried out, as is stan- dard prac­tice, into the full de­tails of the in­ci­dent in co-op­er­a­tion with the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties.”

Race of­fi­cials are sup­port­ing the skip­per and crew.

Clip­per Race Founder Sir Robin Knox-John­ston is­sued a state­ment af­ter the death.

“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.

“The safety of our crew has al­ways been our main pri­or­ity and we shall in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent.”

CLIP­PER FA­TAL­ITY: Clip­per mem­ber Sarah Young of the Clip­per yacht Ichor Coal.

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