40 year old woman has become the 2nd British crew member to die in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Sarah Young, from London, was on board the IchorCoal boat in the Pacific Ocean when she was swept overboard.

Her death follows that of London paramedic Andrew Ashman, who was knocked unconscious in September on board the same boat.

Young’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed but is suspected to be drowning or exposure, organisers say.

The incident occurred during the ninth race of the 14-stage event which started in August and covers more than 40,000 nautical miles.

About 40% of participants have never sailed before entering what is the world’s longest ocean race, but Young and Ashman are the only fatalities in the race’s 20-year history.

More than 700 crew are participating in the 2015-16 edition, which left London at the end of August last year and will return there on 30 July.

Young was tidying the cockpit after reefing the mainsail when she was knocked from her position by a wave. She fell back towards the guard wire and was swept under it by another wave.

Rescue attempts were hampered by winds of up to 40 knots and her body was recovered more than an hour later.

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Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “On behalf of everyone at Clipper Ventures, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sarah.

“She was a very popular and integral member of the Clipper race family and knew our boats well, having sailed with us since London last summer.

“The safety of our crew has always been and continues to be our main priority and we shall investigate the incident immediately in full co-operation with the authorities.”

This latest stage of the race takes crews from Qingdao in China to Seattle in the United States and has 3,242 miles still to go.

Young, who leaves a partner, was the owner of a personal lifestyle company providing services for high net-worth individuals, according to race organisers.

Prior to the Clipper Race she had taken part in other expeditions including mountaineering in Nepal. She had also run a marathon and was a qualified diving group leader.

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