Crew member dies during round-the-world yacht race

    The IchorCoal clipper heads onto the river Thames in central London on August 30, 2015, as it moves into place to begin the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

    Story highlights

    • The British paramedic was hit by mainsheet
    • The yacht set off August 31 and was on the first leg of the race

    (CNN)A British paramedic died aboard a boat days after setting off on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, race organizers said Saturday.

    Andrew Ashman, 49, was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet and failed to regain consciousness despite immediate medical assistance, the organizers said in a statement.
      He was a crew member aboard the IchorCoal boat, which set off from London on August 31. It was on the first leg of the race, from Britain to Brazil, and was about 120 miles off Portugal when the incident happened, organizers said.
      "The boat linked immediately by satellite phone to the medical team at Praxes Medical Group, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine support service based in Halifax, Canada, where a doctor provided additional advice and guidance during the emergency," their statement said.
      The boat was diverting to northern Portugal and was expected to arrive early Sunday, the statement said. A full investigation will be carried out.
      It is the first fatality in the history of the 19-year-old Clipper race, which covers 40,000 miles. More than 700 people are participating this year.