Clipper crew member Sarah Young was washed over board and drowned on April 1.
Clipper crew member Sarah Young was washed over board and drowned on April 1.

Crew member swept overboard, dies at sea

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 standard 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."


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