Tragedy in offshore race
Published on October 22nd, 2023
Tragedy struck during the 2023 Coastal Classic, a 119nm race in New Zealand which started on October 20. The incident occurred at around 11:30pm when a crew member on board a competing yacht was hit by the boom.
The accident for Simon Smith, who had competed in the first Whitbread Round The World Ocean Race, rendered him unconscious and needing immediate medical attention.
Coast Guard volunteers had been conducting a night-time training exercise in the area and were able to arrive to the yacht at shortly after 1:00 am, yet with a medical kit and defibrillator, the individual passed away.
Two other sailors sustained moderate injuries, according to the agency. The Coast Guard vessel accompanied the yacht back to Opua, arriving shortly before 4:00 am.
“Our thoughts and love are with the crew, and the family and friends of this person,” said Commodore Adrian Percival of the host New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club. “Words cannot express our sorrow.”