A British woman who died after being knocked overboard by a wave during the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race will be buried at sea, organisers have confirmed. Forty-year-old Sarah Young from London, was swept away while on board the IchorCoal boat in the Pacific Ocean.
She was on the ninth race out of the 14-stage event when the accident occurred in the competition that has seen a participation of over 700 crew members in its 2015-15 edition. According to reports, she was cleaning up the cockpit when she was knocked down by a wave before being swept away. Her body was recovered an hour later by rescue workers who battled winds of up to 40 knots.
Ms Young's partner and family have given their permission for a special ceremony to take place as the yacht continues its journey to Seattle in the US. She is expected to be laid to rest on Saturday ( 2 April) evening.
The race's representatives explained: "The yacht has been sent details of the burial at sea ceremony - which has been used for centuries by mariners - along with some personal readings from her loved ones, and will advise the race office with at least two hours' notice when they are ready to proceed.
"We appreciate that this will be a difficult and emotional time for the crew, the entire fleet and the whole Clipper Race family. Our thoughts remain with them all and with Sarah's partner, family and friends at this difficult time."
The race's founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said he was "deeply saddened" by Ms Young's death. He told Sky News: "We've got to find out exactly what went wrong. (Being tethered) is very much normal practice and something we train everyone to do. If you're in these conditions, particularly at night, you tether on at all times to keep yourself safe."
Ms Young's death comes six months after Andrew Ashman, a 49-year-old from Kent,was killed on the same vessel after being knocked unconscious off the Portuguese coast. The two Britons are the only fatalities in the 20-year history of the race.
The world race, which spans over 40,000 nautical miles, started in August 2015 and will end on 30 July 2016 when the participants will return to where they started in London. It takes almost a year to complete.
Ms Young, a personal lifestyle entrepreneur from London, had wanted to take part in the race for a number of years.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating her death.