A British crew member in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has died after being swept overboard.
Sarah Young, 40, a company owner from London, was on board the IchorCoal boat (CV21) in the Pacific Ocean in wind speeds approaching 40 knots.
Rescue attempts were hampered by the conditions and her body was recovered more than an hour later.
The cause of death is yet to be confirmed but is suspected to be drowning or exposure.
The incident occurred during the ninth race of the 14-stage event which covers over 40,000 nautical miles and is the world’s longest ocean race.
It is the second fatality in the race, which started in August last year, on board the IchorCoal boat.
London paramedic Andrew Ashman died after being knocked unconscious in September last year.
About 40% of participants having never sailed before but Young and Ashman are the only fatalities in the race’s 20-year history.
Over 700 crew are participating in the 2015-16 edition which left London at the end of August, and will return there on 30 July, 2016.
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 crew from Qingdao in China to Seattle in the United States and has over 3,242 miles still to go until its conclusion.
Young, who leaves a partner, was the owner of a personal lifestyle company providing services for private high net-worth individuals, according to race organisers.
A keen adventurer, the Clipper Race had been an ambition of hers for some years, and she said celebrating her 40th birthday just before setting sail from London was the perfect way to start her adventure.
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 Divemaster.
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Source:: BBC UK