British sailor dies in round-the-world yacht race

LONDON  — Organizers of an international yacht race say a British sailor has died after he was swept overboard in rough seas.

Simon Speirs, a 60-year-old retired lawyer, was sailing for Great Britain in the Clipper Round the World Race. The fleet was sailing from South Africa to Australia on Saturday when Speirs was washed overboard into the Southern Ocean during gale force winds.

The race organizers said in a statement that Speirs fell overboard despite being clipped on to the 70-foot (21-meter) yacht with his safety tether. Fellow crew members pulled him back on the boat in 36 minutes and tried but failed to revive him. The cause of death was believed to be drowning.

Organizers said Speirs was given a sea burial Sunday.