Crew member dies at sea taking part in Clipper race

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A local woman set to complete the next stage of the Clipper Race, has expressed her sadness at the death of fellow Clipper crew member, Sarah Young, at the weekend.

Jilly St John will join the Derry yacht in Seattle later this month, before embarking on the next stage of the round-the-world race. Speaking to the ‘Journal’ she said, “It is such sad news, and there is no doubt that I am now very aware that I am an amateur joining the race, and doubts have surfaced in my mind.

“Yet, it is an amazing opportunity and while the risks exist, I am as confident as I can be that I still wish to take part. I am already safety conscious so this news has heightened those concerns, so they remain my primary focus.”

Sarah Young, 40, was onboard the IchorCoal yacht when she was swept away in strong winds. The official Clipper statement has confirmed that “she was not tethered onto the yacht at this time.”

It continued, “The boat immediately applied its man overboard drill but was hampered by the conditions and lack of direct visual. Her body was recovered on board using her AIS signal, and although resuscitation was attempted, she never regained consciousness.”

Sarah was buried at sea on Sunday 3rd April, with readings and prayers supplied by her family and partner.

The Derry yacht is the current race leader and Dan Smith, skipper, said of Sarah’s passing, “During the morning watch change I had the sad job of telling the crew about the tragic news on board IchorCoal that I had just heard about. Our team were devastated and our thoughts go out to Sarah’s family, friends, crew on board IchorCoal, Darren the skipper and the rest of the Clipper Race team. We wish the yacht fair winds to Seattle, we will see you there.”