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Medical Examiner Says America’s Cup Sailor Died From Blunt Trauma

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Andrew "Bart" Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist, was killed when his America's Cup catamaran overturned on San Francisco Bay on May 9, 2013. (CBS)

Andrew “Bart” Simpson, an Olympic gold medalist, was killed when his America’s Cup catamaran overturned on San Francisco Bay on May 9, 2013. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The America’s Cup sailor who perished in a capsizing during a practice run in May died of “blunt trauma with drowning,” according to a San Francisco medical examiner’s report on the case.

Andrew “Bart” Simpson, a 36-year-old British sailor and member of Sweden-based Artemis Racing, was killed when the team’s boat capsized on the Bay shortly after 1 p.m. on May 9.

The hull of the 72-foot boat broke and Simpson was trapped underwater beneath it for about 10 minutes before crew members found him and brought him to shore, according to the medical examiner investigator’s report.

He was brought to shore and, despite lifesaving efforts, was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m., according to the report, which included the results of an autopsy performed the next day on May 10.

The report stated that Simpson had abrasions to his right cheek and left side of his neck and was wearing a helmet and other safety equipment during the incident.

San Francisco police are also investigating the death and department spokeswoman Sgt. Danielle Newman said Tuesday afternoon that the case was still open.

Following the death of Simpson, a husband and father of two, America’s Cup officials instituted dozens of new safety measures for the regatta, including reducing the wind limits under which racing could occur.

After taking an extended break to mourn the death, Artemis Racing ended up preparing a second boat for racing but lost in the semifinals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the challenger series for the America’s Cup.

Defending champion Oracle Team USA ended up winning the regatta with a comeback against Emirates Team New Zealand, winning the last eight races to clinch the cup by a score of 9-8.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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