Crew Member Killed In America's Cup Racing Boat Accident

9:54 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran lies overturned in San Francisco Bay after it capsized during training for the America's Cup. Two-time Olympic sailing medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson, 36, of Great Britain was killed in the accident. Noah Berger, AP

 


 


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized Thursday in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America's Cup races this summer, killing an Olympic gold medalist from England and injuring another sailor, authorities said.

Artemis Racing said Andrew "Bart" Simpson died after the capsized boat's platform trapped him underwater for about 10 minutes shortly after 1 p.m. Artemis and two other yacht teams each outfitted with multimillion-dollar racing boats that can achieve speeds of 45 mph are challenging defending champions Oracle Racing for the America's Cup, sailing's most prestigious trophy.

Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team's strategist.

Artemis said doctors "afloat" with the team and on shore were unable to revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage. The other sailor suffered minor injuries, and the rest of the crew of about a dozen was accounted for and taken back to their dock in Alameda.

Photos: Former pics of Simpson, the boat in the Bay

"The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened," CEO Paul Cayard said in a statement posted on the team's website. "Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew's wife and family."

Officials said winds were blowing between 15 and 20 knots when the boat capsized. The National Weather Service later in the day issued a small-craft advisory, warning inexperienced mariners to stay off the bay and indicating winds of between 21 knots and 33 knots.

The Artemis boat flipped in winds of about 20 knots near Treasure Island, which is bisected by the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. The armada of rescue boats and helicopters were visible from the bridge.

Simpson and the unidentified injured sailor were brought to shore at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where paramedics performed CPR on Simpson. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

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