One member of Swedish team Artemis Racing was killed earlier this afternoon when his team's 72-foot AC72 catamaran capsized during practice runs near Treasure Island on the San Francisco Bay. The sailor was reportedly underwater for 10 to 15 minutes after the boat capsized.
Two of the 11 crew members on board were take to shore on Treasure Island. Rescue workers performed CPR on one sailor, but he was pronounced dead a short time after. One KCBS reporter on the scene says he saw the crew member being placed into a body bag.
A second sailor was injured in the incident, but his lacerations were not considered serious. All of the other crew members were accounted for and taken to the team's training facilities in Alameda. A commercial salvage ship was called in to tow the damaged racing boat to Clipper Cove.
Officials are not yet sure what caused the boat to overturn, but in October of last year Team Oracle USA also destroyed an AC72 racing yacht. No one was injured in that incident, but it took hours to retrieve the vessel as it was swept out past the Golden Gate Bridge and months to rebuild before they could launch their second ship in April. Several other teams dropped out of the event last year because of the high cost of developing an $8 million AC72 catamaran.
Update: The AP has video:
The crew member has been identified as Andrew "Bart" Simpson, a British two-time Olympic gold medal sailor.
“The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” team CEO Paul Cayard said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”
Previously: Yacht-enfreude: Oracle Capsizes Their Fanciest Sailboat Yet
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