Gold Medalist Dead After Sailboat Capsizes During Training

A gold medalist is dead after a sailboat accident in the San Francisco Bay on Thursday afternoon. Andrew “Bart” Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist from the United Kingdom, was pronounced dead after being trapped underneath the sinking boat.

Simpson’s been one of Great Britain’s premier sailors since 2003 when he claimed a bronze medal at the ISAF Sailing World Championship. He later went on to win a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and took home silver in 2012 during the London Olympics.

According to Artemis Racing, Simpson died around 1 pm in the San Francisco Bay after being held under water for nearly 10 minutes when the team’s sailboat capsized. First responders attempted to revive Simpson while afloat and on shore after the wreckage.

The British sailor was 36-years-old, according to San Francisco Fire Department officials.

“The entire Artemis team is devastated by what happened,” said CEO Paul Canyard in a statement on the team’s website. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”

Another sailor was also injured when Artemis Racing’s AC72 catamaran capsized in the bay and left one gold medalist dead. Mindy Talmadge, the Fire Department spokeswoman, said the incident occurred near Treasure Island, a former navel station off the San Francisco Bay.

CEO Paul Canyard assured the media that the team will now take a step back to honor the loss of their beloved crewman.

“Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.”

The Artemis’ team was training in the bay for the upcoming America’s Cup races this summer. The team has two boats though it is still unknown how much damage the capsized vessel undertook. The America’s Cup races begin in July and run through September for an all-summer affair.

Andrew Simpsons’ legacy will live on through his teammates at Artemis’ Racing. One of the world’s best sailors, the gold medalist is dead at the age of 36 after a training accident on the water.

[Image via Creative Commons]