Olympic gold medalist dies in capsize of Swedish America’s Cup boat
By TERRY COLLINS Associated Press May 9, 2013 5:14PM
The overturned Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, is towed past Treasure Island after the boat capsized during training in San Francisco Bay on Thursday, May 9, 2013, in San Francisco, Calif. (AP Photo/San Jose Mercury News, Karl Mondon) MAGS OUT; NO SALES, MADATORY CREDIT BAY AREA NEWSPAPERS
Updated: May 9, 2013 6:20PM
SAN FRANCISCO — A 72-foot-long Swedish sailboat capsized Thursday while practicing for the upcoming America’s Cup races in the San Francisco Bay, leaving one sailor dead and another injured, authorities said.
San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the two people were injured when the Artemis Racing catamaran capsized at about 1 p.m. near Treasure Island, a former naval station in the bay.
Both were brought to shore and taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club, where paramedics performed CPR on one of the two, Talmadge said. That person was pronounced dead a short time later. Officials said the other person’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Artemis Racing says Andrew “Bart” Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist from the United Kingdom, died Thursday after the capsized boat’s platform trapped him underwater for about 10 minutes around 1 p.m. PDT.
Artemis says Simpson served as the Swedish team’s strategist and had won one Olympic gold and one silver medal. Fire officials say he was 36.
Artemis says doctors “afloat” with the team and on shore couldn’t revive Simpson after he was freed from the wreckage.
The roughly 10 other people on board were transferred to a support boat operated by Oracle Racing, which is defending its America’s Cup title from 2010 in San Francisco this summer.
Coast Guard Lt. Jeannie Crump said the agency did not know the extent of the damage to the boat, but she added a commercial salvage boat was on scene to tow the vessel to Clipper Cove, between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.
The Swedish team has two boats, Crump said.
The America’s Cup race is scheduled to run from July through September, and the teams are training in the bay on specially made 72-foot catamarans.
The Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers starts July 4, with the winner facing Oracle in the 34th America’s Cup beginning Sept. 7.
She added that Coast Guard officials were unsure what caused the boat to capsize.