Gold medalist Andrew Simpson dies in America's Cup training accident

Andrew Simpson, who won two Olympic medals sailing for Great Britain, has died in a sailing accident while training for the America's Cup races.

SAN FRANCISCO – British Olympic gold medalist Andrew Simpson has died and another was injured after a boat carrying the Swedish flag capsized Thursday in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the upcoming America's Cup races.

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.

Talmadge said both were brought to shore and taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club, where paramedics performed CPR on one of the two. Simpson was pronounced dead a short time later. Officials said the other person's injuries were not life-threatening.

The roughly 10 other people on board were transferred to a support boat operated by Oracle Racing, which is defending last year's America's Cup title 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 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.

The Swedish team has two boats, and it was not immediately clear whether the capsized boat sustained damage or was considered a total loss, Crump said.

She added that Coast Guard officials were as yet unsure what caused the boat to capsize.

Simpson won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and a silver medial in the 2012 Olympics in London, both  in the Star class of sailboats.


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