Sept. 5 (UPI) — IchorCoal crew member Andrew Ashman died during the Clipper Round the World Yacht race after being knocked unconscious aboard the team’s CV21 boat.
Andrew Ashman, 49, was aboard his team’s boat when he was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet of the boat and possibly its boom. This took place at approximately 120 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal during a strong breeze featuring Force 6 winds (24-30 mph). Moderate seas rocked the boat as Ashman and others attempted to make adjustments to the yacht’s traveling speed.
After Ashman was knocked unconscious, he was given immediate medical assistance by crew members but resuscitation techniques did not cause Ashman to regain consciousness. Crewmembers contacted the Praxes Medical Group, a Canadian group in charge of providing aid to the racers, and recieved over-the-phone guidance. Ashman ultimately perished and the CV21 boat was told to change course and sail toward northern Portugal. It is slated to arrive Sunday morning.
Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston told BBC News that Ashman’s death comes as a great loss to crew members and relatives who knew him. He added that a full investigation has been launched.
The race is a 40,000-nautical-mile journey established over two decades ago and is now in its tenth iteration. Ashman’s death marks the first fatality in the race’s history. More than 3,000 amateur crew have participated in previous races, although Ashman was an experienced yachtsman who had been sailing since the age of 16. This year’s edition features 700 crew divided into 12 teams that departed from London on Aug. 30.