Clipper Ventures crew member dies during headsail change19 Nov 2017Simon Speirs was changing a headsail when he was washed overboardClipper Ventures has reported the fatality of Simon Speirs, a crew member circumnavigating the globe on board CV30, (GREAT Britain).Mr Speirs, 60, from Bristol, was on the foredeck assisting with a headsail change from Yankee 3 when he was washed overboard. Although he was clipped on with his safety tether, he became separated from the yacht in the Southern Ocean in a rough sea state, in 20 knots of wind, gusting 40. Mr Speirs was recovered back on board within 36 minutes and CPR was administered however he never regained consciousness. The cause of death is unconfirmed but thought to be by drowning.Supported remotelyAll other crew are reported safe and are being supported remotely by the race office. The incident occurred on Saturday, Day 18 in Race 3 of the 13 stage Clipper Race, as the fleet was racing from South Africa to Australia. A full investigation will now be carried out into the full details of the incident, including the reasons his safety tether did not keep him on board.Mr Speirs was a member of the crew since the race start in the UK in August. He had more than 40 years’ dinghy experience and a coastal skipper licence. All Clipper Race crew complete a compulsory four-week training programme before joining the race which covers all aspects of safety at sea, including repeated man overboard training drills, which are also repeated in race stopovers.Mr Speirs had also completed the Clipper Race Coxswain Certificate designed in collaboration with the MCA and the RYA specifically for the Clipper Race. Mr Speirs next of kin have been informed. The yacht is currently heading to Fremantle, Australia.