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Crew member dies in Clipper Round The World yacht race

By BBC News & Clipper Ventures — last modified Sep 06, 2015 11:08 AM
A paramedic from south-east London has died taking part in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. As reported by the BBC News.

Published: 2015-09-05 23:00:00
Topics: Safety and Medical

Crew member dies in Clipper Round The World yacht race

Andrew Ashman - from Clipper Ventures

As reported by http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-34162728

Andrew Ashman was adjusting the sail of his team's boat when he was knocked unconscious. Organisers said he failed to regain consciousness, despite resuscitation attempts.

It happened about 120 nautical miles off the Portuguese coast at 00:00 local time.

Mr Ashman's death is the first fatality in the history of the race.

'Extremely sad'

Mr Ashman, 49, an amateur sailor, was aboard the IchorCoal boat, which has been diverted to northern Portugal where it is expected to arrive in the early hours of Sunday.

Race organisers said Mr Ashman was struck as he adjusted the mainsheet - a rope connected to the boom - as the boat was heading south towards Brazil in the first leg of the race, which started last Sunday.

Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "This is extremely sad news and my heart goes out to his bereaved family and friends, and to his fellow crew who have come to know Andrew with great affection during his training and the early days of this race."

He said a full investigation had been launched.

Mr Ashman was due to take part in the Southern Ocean and USA coast-to-coast legs of the race. His next of kin have been informed of his death.

The yachtsman had enjoyed sailing since joining the London Sailing project aged 16 and he had completed his competent crew, day skipper, yachtmaster theory and coastal skipper courses.

A spokesman for Clipper Ventures said: "At this stage it looks like a tragic accident as far as we can see, but obviously there will be a full assessment.

ANDREW ASHMAN: FATAL INJURY OFFICIAL STATEMENT
By Clipper Ventures

OFFICIAL STATEMENT - 5 SEPTEMBER 2015

We are deeply saddened to report the death of crew member Mr Andrew Ashman (49) a paramedic from Orpington, Kent. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Andy was an experienced yachtsman and was one of the crew aboard theIchorCoal boat (CV21). All other crew are safe and well.

The boat’s skipper Darren Ladd reports that Andy was involved in reefing the main sail, reducing its sail area, in moderate seas just after midnight local time in a strong breeze building to Force 6 (24-30 mph / 21-27 knots), approximately 120 nautical miles off the Portuguese coast heading south towards Brazil in the first leg of the race.

Andy was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet and possibly the boom (although not confirmed). He was given immediate medical assistance and attempted resuscitation but failed to regain consciousness. The boat linked immediately by satellite phone to the medical team at Praxes Medical Group, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine support service based in Halifax, Canada, where a doctor provided additional advice and guidance during the emergency.

A full investigation will be carried out, as is standard practice, into the details of this tragic incident in cooperation with the appropriate authorities. CV21 is diverting to northern Portugal to a suitable marina, to be confirmed, in the Porto area and is anticipated to arrive in the early hours of tomorrow morning, Sunday 6 September 2015.

MINUTE'S SILENCE TODAY 1300 BST (1200 UTC) SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

The crew of CV21 IchorCoal are meeting with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston this morning in Porto, Portugal. At 1pm local and UK time (1200 UTC) they will join a fleet-wide minute's silence. In a message to all teams this morning, Deputy Race Director Mark Light said: "Holding a fleet-wide minute's silence in memory of our lost shipmate Andrew Ashman is a truly lovely thing to do. A short time to reflect, remember and push on towards your (and Andy's) goal of sailing the world's oceans. I am sure that Andy's family and Andy himself would be proud of all of you. Stay strong and keep the flag flying."

http://clipperroundtheworld.com/news/article/andrew-ashman-fatal-injury-official-statement

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