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Clipper Race Yachtswoman Sarah Young is Buried At Sea

3rd April 2016
Buried at Sea – Sarah Young Buried at Sea – Sarah Young

The British sailor who died after being swept into the Pacific Ocean while competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been buried at sea, organisers say.

Sarah Young, 40, was washed overboard while taking part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race. Her body was later recovered by her crewmates.

Miss Young is the the second person to die in this year's event - fellow Briton Andrew Ashman, a crew member on the same boat, died after being knocked unconscious in September.

Despite being amateurs, both Miss Young and Mr Ashman were experienced sailors.

BBC News reports Race organisers said Miss Young would be buried at sea because of the "long time it will take to reach closest landfall", and it would take place as soon as weather conditions allowed.

Miss Young's parents are deceased and she has no siblings, but her aunt in New Zealand gave the ceremony her blessing.

Organisers said there was a sombre mood with sailors reflecting on the "tragedy" as the race continued following the death.

From skipper Darren Ladd: Today at 1200 (UTC+12) we carried out the burial at sea of Sarah Young. Sarah was a close friend and an enthusiastic and accomplished sailor. Sarah and I would chat for hours in the navigation station about this and that. Every now and again she would come and sit next to me, give me a hug, and go again. No need to say anything, probably we both needed it.

Sarah was a valued crew member and amazing victualler. On deck she was fearless and could often be found at the bow wrestling with headsails, or up the mast wrestling wrapped spinnakers, even below decks wrestling crew to protect the biscuit ration. She was a great wrestler, never lost a biscuit.

The crew stood on deck with all the courage and dignity we could muster, read a few of Sarah's favourite prayers and poetry, before holding a minute’s silence. The ceremony was ended with a beautiful traditional Zulu song sung by our Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador, Charlotte.

Today has been one of the hardest days of my life. Never under-estimate the value of friendship and of team spirit. The support via email has been over-whelming and absolutely invaluable. Life is finite and often far too short.

Sarah was an adventurer and lived life to the full. She died an adventurer's death battling the elements circumnavigating the globe. I wish we could have said goodbye properly, we all do. The ceremony was for Sarah on behalf of all those that were fortunate enough to know her. Today we said goodbye, but she will always be present in our hearts.

Sarah will be sadly missed.

It's a bit of a mixed one weather-wise, but there is definitely a cold theme running through the day. It snowed earlier, there's a novelty at sea. I thought I was on to a winner when I fitted the good ship IchorCoal with central heating. Unfortunately we ran out of 50p coins a week ago.

We are pushing the fleet along making reasonable speed. The watches are cycling every 30 minutes, it's long enough to be outside. As a crew the focus is Seattle. With the wind strength more unpredictable than Jeremy Clarkson we got the old favourite Yankee 4, staysail and deep-reefed main up. Not too much enthusiasm for sail changes at the moment.

From Clipper Race:  Following guidance from the Doctor at our medical advisors and consultation with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, plus Sarah's partner, friends, family and the crew, we have decided to proceed with a burial at sea as soon as weather conditions permit, because of the long time it will take to reach closest landfall. We estimate that the earliest opportunity will be late this evening UK time, which is late morning Sunday in the fleet's current location in the North Pacific. The yacht has been sent details of the burial at sea ceremony which has been used for centuries by mariners, along with some personal readings from her loved ones, and will advise the Race Office with at least two hours’ notice when they are ready to proceed.

We appreciate that this will be a difficult and emotional time for the crew, the entire fleet and the whole Clipper Race family. Our thoughts remain with them all and with Sarah's partner, family and friends at this difficult time. Sarah was much loved, and will be missed deeply by all who kused her. On behalf of her family and friends, they have asked us to request that they are now allowed to grieve and remember Sarah in peace. We will provide an update when we have more information.

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