SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA.com/AP) — British sailing gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who died during training for the America’s Cup races in May, suffered extensive trauma to his head and neck and drowned after being trapped underwater for about 10 minutes, an autopsy report released Tuesday said.
The report by the San Francisco medical examiner said there were serious cuts and bruises to Simpson’s head and neck, and that foam inside his crash helmet “was irregularly separated consistent with being crushed.” The cause of death was listed as “blunt trauma with drowning.”
The autopsy report was obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1anZIFg ).
Simpson, 36, died May 9 after his 72-foot catamaran nosedived and broke into pieces during a training run for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay. He served as a strategist for Sweden’s Artemis Racing team.
America’s Cup sailors already wore crash helmets and life vests after the introduction of the high-tech boats, which can sail faster than 40 knots.
Simpson’s accidental death prompted the race organizers to implement 37 safety recommendations, including equipping sailors with body armor, an air tank and breathing tube and underwater locator devices.
The America’s Cup used AC-75s for the first time in 2013, rather than the traditional single-hulled vessels known in the sport.
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