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Londonderry yacht crew pay tribute to tragic sailor Sarah

By Kate Ferguson, PA

Published 04/04/2016

Sailor Sarah Young
Sailor Sarah Young

The crew of Northern Ireland's entry in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race have said the death of an amateur sailor who died after being swept into the Pacific Ocean led to "considerable soul searching all round".

The Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew is one of 12 teams that held a minute's silence to remember Sarah Young (40), who was washed into the sea by a large wave as she tended to the mainsail aboard her 70ft yacht on Friday.

Ms Young, a company owner from London, is the second crew member to have died on the IchorCoal vessel during the race.

Drawing upon centuries-old maritime traditions, her crewmates committed her to the sea at 1.02am British time on Sunday.

"The Skipper and entire crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and crewmates of Sarah Young. Such news is truly shocking as well as tragic," said skipper Daniel Smith afterwards.

"On occasions such as these, there is considerable soul searching all round with reflection and introspection upon what we value and care for most.

"Today must have been a hard day on board IchorCoal as they conducted their sea burial service for Sarah. They have been in our thoughts.

"After our lunch time meeting we read a poem that was also being used as part of her ceremony and joined in a one-minute silence in order to allow the crew to reflect or pray.

"We pursue our passion in a sport which carries undoubted risks - we do this knowingly and it does not deter us. Rather, it is part of the attraction of the sport overall and which appeals to the adventurous amongst us.

"No words can capture the sadness we all feel at the loss of a fellow 'Clipperati' - a true adventurer by all accounts. May Sarah rest in peace."

In 2014, the crew aboard the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht almost suffered their own tragedy when a member was swept overboard in high seas.

The then-skipper Sean McCarter received an award for outstanding seamanship for his rescue of crew member Andrew Taylor (46), who spent more than an hour in the icy Pacific.

Yesterday, IchorCoal skipper Darren Ladd said the burial was "one of the hardest days of my life" and that Ms Young will be "sadly missed".

He said: "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."

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