Round the world yacht race proved fatal for Simon Speirs, who died at the age of sixty while taking part in such a race in November 2017. Hailing from Bristol, he was taking part in the Clipper race. He fell into the Southern Ocean as the boat was caught in the midst of a gale of forceful winds. He was tethered to a safety line, but having got caught in the waters for 36 minutes in cold conditions was too much for his system to bear. His burial was at sea during the yacht race as a result.
He had been a crew member on the Great Britain yacht. The boat was in the sixth position when they were sailing the stretch from South Africa and Australia. The incident took place on day 18th of the third race. Speirs was no novice and was a dinghy sailor who had forty years of experience. He was helping in changing sails on the 21 meter yacht when he was washed overboard. He was clipped to a safety tether and the crew managed to get him back on board within 36 minutes.
There were three medically trained crew members who administered CPR and there was a GP on board as well. However, Simon was unable to regain unconsciousness and was declared dead after the concerted efforts were put in. Simon was wearing a life jacket and also had waterproof ocean oilskins on him at the time when he fell overboard. Speirs was buried at sea with a Christian service carried out by the skipper on board which was followed by a similar service back home by his family members. An investigation also ensued to look into the aspects that caused his death and whether the safety aspects were inadequate.