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Clipper Race crew member dies after going overboard

Simon Speirs, a crew member on board the Clipper Round the World race yacht GREAT Britain, has died after going overboard in the Southern Ocean.Simon Speirs

At the time of the incident, Simon was clipped on, wearing his lifejacket, which included an AIS beacon, as well as approved waterproof ocean oilskins.

Simon, 60, from Bristol, UK, was on the foredeck assisting with a headsail change from Yankee 3 when he was washed overboard.

Although he was clipped on with his safety tether, he became separated from the yacht in the Southern Ocean at approximately 08:14 UTC (1414 local time) in a rough sea state, in 20 knots of wind, gusting 40.

The team’s man overboard recovery training kicked into immediate effect and despite the rough conditions, Simon was recovered back on board by the Skipper and crew within 36 minutes.

CPR was immediately administered by three medically trained crew, which included a GP. However Simon sadly never regained consciousness and was pronounced deceased at 09:25 UTC.

The cause of death is unconfirmed at this time but thought to be by drowning.

The incident occurred on Day 18 in Race 3 of the 13 stage Clipper Race. The fleet was racing from South Africa to Australia.

The yacht, which was in sixth place, currently has approximately 1,500 miles left to its destination.

Simon’s next of kin have been informed. The yacht is currently making best speed to Fremantle, Australia.

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