Friday, May 10, 2013

Olympian dies after sailboat capsizes while practicing for America's Cup in San Francisco Bay

A decorated, British Olympic sailor was killed after his sailboat capsized while practicing for the upcoming America's Cup in San Francisco Bay.

Andrew "Bart" Simpson  died after a 72-foot-long sailboat flipped in San Francisco Bay while he and 12 teammates were on a training run Thursday afternoon.

The Artemis Racing catamaran carrying a Swedish flag capsized just after 1 pm near Treasure Island, the former naval station located in the bay, Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said. Simpson, 36, a two-time Olympic medalist, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Artemis said doctors "afloat" with the team and on shore couldn't revive Simpson after the 2008 Olympic gold medalist was freed from the wreckage. Teammate Craig Monk was also injured in the accident.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says two people were seriously injured and both were brought to shore and taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club, where paramedics performed CPR. Simpson — who served as the Swedish team's strategist — was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Coast Guard says the rest of the 13-man crew has been accounted for.

Artemis is a Swedish team that was scheduled to race two boats in the upcoming America's Cup being held in San Francisco this summer. The race is scheduled to run from July through September, and the teams are currently training in the bay on specially made 72-foot catamarans.

The Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers starts July 4, with the winner facing Oracle in the 34th America’s Cup beginning September 7.

The Swedish team has two boats, and it was not immediately clear whether the capsized boat sustained damages or was considered a total loss, Lt. Crump said.

She added that Coast Guard officials were as yet unsure what caused the boat to capsize.

This is the second time a sailor has died during training for the America's Cup. In 1999, Martin Wizner of the Spanish Challenge died almost instantly when he was hit in the head by a broken piece of equipment.

No comments:

Post a Comment