A report into the tragic death of British sailor Andrew Simpson finds he died from “blunt trauma with drowning”
A coroner’s report into the tragic death of America’s Cup sailor Andrew Simpson has found that blows to the head, body and limbs contributed to his drowning death.
Simpson, who had been training for this year’s America’s Cup in San Francisco, died after becoming trapped under his team’s 72ft catamaran when it capsized and broke into pieces.
In the moments before the accident, the yacht was turning downwind in a so-called bear-away manoeuvre while travelling at about 30 knots with wind of about 20 knots, the report says.
The front of the vessel then dipped beneath the surface, the port hull broke and inverted on top of the wing, according to the report.
The precise sequence of events was not clear from the report and it did not explain why Simpson was unable to find his way out.
The accident, the second involving the new 72ft yacht, spurred four investigations and dozens of new safety rules.
It also sparked renewed debate about whether technology had advanced faster than sailor’s ability to use it safely.
The 36-year-old British sailor, had been aboard the Artemis Racing team yacht with fellow skipper and friend Iain Percy.
America’s Cup spokesman Peter Rusch called the report “comprehensive” and said, “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Andrew Simpson’s family and friends.”
Since the accident on 9 May, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Simpson’s wife have set up the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation in order to encourage more youngsters to discover sailing.