British Olympic gold medal-winning sailor, Andrew Simpson, has died after his catamaran capsized during a training session for the America's Cup off the coast of California Thursday (May 9), his team said.
Andrew Simpson, commonly known as 'Bart' was sailing with the Swedish Artemis Racing team in San Francisco Bay ahead of this summer's America's Cup when the catamaran turned over and he became trapped underneath, a statement from Artemis Racing said last night.
He was trapped underwater by the catamaran's platform for about 10 minutes, but doctors both in the water and on the shore could not revive him after he was freed from the wreckage.
The San Francisco Fire Department has confirmed the death of one of the crew members in the incident. The department's spokesperson added another sailor was injured in the mishap but he escaped with minor injuries.
Artemis Racing chief executive Paul Cayard spoke to reporters on shore.
"We obviously had a tragic day today on the Bay, and our thoughts and prayers with Bart Simpson's, Andrew Simpson's family, his wife and kids and also with the rest of the teammates. It's a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody's well-being. So the boat itself is under control but it's certainly not the first of our concerns. We're focused on the people. So that's what we're working with and on, and we'll give you more information when we're able to," Cayard said.
Simpson won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver in last year's Games in London, both in the Star class.
Simpson was part of the Artemis Racing team that planned to challenge for the 34th America's Cup, and was the team's strategist.
In a statement the America's Cup said: "The thoughts of everyone involved with the America's Cup are with the family of Andrew Simpson and the members of Artemis Racing.
Presented by Adam Justice