The 46-year-old crewmember went overboard in rough weather during a sail change

A British man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of this morning after falling overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Derry-Londonderry-Doire crew member, Andrew Taylor, aged 46, from London went over the side at 00.43 BST last night in rough weather and was sighted again at 01.55 BST before being recovered at approx. 02.13 BST this morning (13.13 local time, 30 March).

The incident happened in 35 knots of wind and clear visibility, during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage Clipper Round the World Yacht race which is currently racing to San Francisco, USA from Qingdao, China.  

Nearly 4,000 people have taken part in the event which includes an extensive pre-race training programme. The organisers say they are fully committed to safety and maintaining their excellent record.

Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: ‘The sea can be a harsh environment and we rehearse every eventuality including a man overboard (MOB).

‘The MOB procedures were put into practice flawlessly by the crew in difficult conditions. It is a tribute to their training and determination that Andrew was successfully recovered.

‘It is always a concern when we have a major incident and we will want to analyse the circumstances in detail to see if there is anything we need to learn or review as a result.’

almouth and US Coast Guard services were contacted and have now been stood down and the team has now resumed racing.

The fleet is just over the half way stage of the 5,600 mile race to San Francisco. The first boats are expected to finish under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on 11 April.

The Clipper 2013-14 Race left London on 1 September 2013 and returns to St Katharine Docks next to Tower Bridge on Saturday 12 July 2014.