Tributes Paid to Dorset Olympian "Bart" Simpson After Tragic Sailing Accident
6:22am 10th May 2013
(Updated 10:26am 10th May 2013)
Dorset's Double Olympic sailing champion Andrew Simpson, who claimed Silver in Weymouth and Portland last summer, has died in a boat accident in the United States.
His catamaran capsized in San Francisco Bay during training for the upcoming America's Cup.
It's thought he was trapped underwater for up to 10 minutes.
Attempts were made to revive the 36 year old both in the water and on the shore, but he was unable to be saved.
"The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened," said CEO Paul Cayard.
"Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew's wife and family."
Six weeks ago, Simpson tweeted: "Moving the family to San Fran for 6 months is pretty hectic!!! The cup should be fun though!!".
The 36 year old, who's affectionately known amongst colleagues as Bart, always made time to encourage youngsters into sport and visited loads of Dorset schools before London 2012.
Originally from Sherborne he had trained at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy.
Reporter Emily Cook covered the Olympic Sailing for Wessex-FM last summer and has fond memories of Bart and his teammate Iain Percy; "The 2 of them together were such jokers and they bounced off one another always bringing that positive attitude to the sport. Even when they missed out on gold they were delighted with the silver and were really nice. He'll be sadly missed around the world".
Wessex-FM listeners have been paying tribute to Simpson on our Facebook Page.
Julia Mcnulty says "thoughts are with you and your family .... A very talented person."
Former local Mayor Sandra West says; "It was a pleasure to meet him in 2008 .. Thoughts are with his family, a sad loss".
A number of top athletes and Dorset leaders have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the Olympic champ as well, including Sir Chris Hoy and Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill.