The brother of Andrew Ashman, the first sailor to ever die in the Clipper Round the World Race, will be on board IchorCoal on Saturday when the fleet returns to London.
The brother of Andrew Ashman, who died while taking part on the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Race, said being on board IchorCoal as it arrives back in London will be emotional.
The race fleet will sail up the River Thames on 30 July to St Katharine Docks to mark the end of this edition of the race.
Keith Ashman will be on the 70-foot CV21 ocean racer, where paramedic Andrew, 49, was knocked unconscious by a mainsheet during the race’s first leg off the coast of Portugal.
He was given immediate medical attention by the crew but never regained consciousness.
The experienced sailor from Orpington, Kent, was due to complete multiple legs in the race.
Keith said that since the loss of his brother, he was become “totally absorbed” by the race.
“It’s my life at the moment,” said Keith.
“I am quite scared about July 30 – about how I am going to be after. The bit I am not looking forward to is when it is done – it has been an intense 11 months. It will be emotional, but good,” Keith told the Press Association.
He stressed that he doesn’t blame Clipper for his brother’s death, and that the ongoing investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch is focussed on making sure a similar incident doesn’t happen again.
“I felt so awful for the crew, these are normal people – they then had to spend 20 hours with him. That is ridiculous that they had to go through that. I just wanted to tell them I was sorry,” said Keith,
He believes his brother would have wanted the crew to continue the race, and he was “really, really pleased” that IchorCoal carried on.
Keith said he admires Andrew’s decision to take part in the race, despite the risks.
He described his brother’s death as a “freak accident”.
“I would hate people to be discouraged from doing it (the race) because of what has happened – I truly, truly would,” stressed Keith.
Andrew was the first person to ever die in the 20 year history of the race.
Tragically, just months later, another sailor on IchorCoal also died.
Sarah Young, 40, from London was knocked overboard by a wave into the Pacific Ocean during day 12 of the ninth race.
The company director and amateur sailor was not clipped on and was swept away in strong winds. Her body was recovered.
Sarah was later buried at sea by the Clipper crew mates with the consent of her family and friends.
An investigation into the incident is being carried out by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
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