LONDON • A British woman died while taking part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race on Friday, after being swept overboard.
Sarah Young, 40, from London, is the second person to die aboard the same vessel in recent months.
She was pulled out unconscious from the Pacific Ocean near the international date line by her crew-mates on the IchorCoal. They tried to resuscitate her but she did not regain consciousness.
The organisers said that, while the cause had not been officially determined, Young - who owned a "personal lifestyle company providing services for private high-net-worth individuals" - was believed to have died of drowning or exposure.
In the statement, they said: "(She was) a keen adventurer (and) the Clipper race had been an ambition of hers for some years... She leaves a partner but no children.
"Aside from missing a couple of races in Australia due to the passing of her mother, she had sailed more than half the way round the world, with 20,000 nautical miles of racing under her belt between London and China, where the yacht left on 21 March."
Young's death comes less than seven months after that of Andrew Ashman, 49. The paramedic from England was killed on IchorCoal after being knocked unconscious while sailing off the Portuguese coast in September last year.
The race organisers said that Young was working on board the vessel in high winds on Friday 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... She was not tethered on to the yacht at this time and was swept away in strong winds."
The incident happened on day 12 of the ninth race in the 14-stage yacht competition. The crew were sailing from Qingdao in China to Seattle in the United States and were more than 5,150km from their destination.
Clipper race founder Robin Knox-Johnston said he was "deeply saddened".
"The safety of our crew has always been and continues to be our main priority and we shall investigate the incident immediately in full cooperation with the authorities," he added.