Fatality Aboard Clipper Race Yacht
Published: Monday, 07 September 2015
Clipper Round The World Race reports the death of IchorCoal crewmember Andrew Ashman, a 49-year-old paramedic from Kent, England.
Ashman, an experienced yachtsman, was aboard the Clipper Race yacht CV21, branded by its South African team sponsor IchorCoal.
The boat’s skipper Darren Ladd reports that Ashman was involved in reefing the main sail, reducing its sail area, in moderate seas during 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.
Ashman was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet and possibly the boom. 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 into the details of this incident in cooperation with the appropriate authorities. CV21 is diverting to northern Portugal to a suitable marina, to be confirmed, in the Porto area.
The Clipper Race was established almost 20 years ago and this is its tenth edition. This is the first fatality in the history of the race. Over 3,300 amateur crew have been trained and participated in previous races. 700 crew are due to participate in the 2015-16 edition which left London at the end of August.
“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,” says Clipper Race Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “Safety is always our utmost priority, as our record shows, and we shall investigate the incident immediately in full cooperation with the authorities.”
Ashman was single, with no dependents. His Family has been informed. He was due to participate in the current race to Brazil, the Southern Ocean and USA coast-to-coast legs of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.
The Clipper Race fleet is owned and operated by Clipper Ventures. It comprises twelve identical yachts under the command of highly experienced professional skippers.