27 March 2018
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag is working to recover from the tragic loss of crew member John Fisher, who went overboard over 24 hours ago and is now presumed lost at sea, given the cold temperatures and rough sea conditions.
On Monday afternoon at approximately 13:42 UTC, Race Control for the Volvo Ocean Race were informed by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag of a man overboard incident.
The team, along with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), has been conducting a search and rescue operation to recover the missing crew member, John Fisher (UK), who was wearing survival equipment when he went overboard.
The incident took place approximately 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn. The wind in the search area is a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state. Water temperature is 9-degrees Celsius.
In a statement Richard Brisius, the President of the Volvo Ocean Race, explained:
This morning I am extremely sad to inform you that one of our sailors, John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea.
This is heart-breaking for all of us. As sailors and race organisers losing a crew member at sea is a tragedy we don’t ever want to contemplate. We are devastated and our thoughts are with John’s family, friends and teammates.
Yesterday, just after 1300 UTC, Race Control for the Volvo Ocean Race were informed of a man overboard situation by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.
We immediately coordinated with the team as well as the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, who have located a ship and diverted it towards the scene. But at current speeds it remains over a day away.
With the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet approximately 200 miles downwind, sending them back upwind to assist, against gale to storm force winds, was not a viable option.
The Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag team conducted an exhaustive search for several hours in extremely challenging weather conditions, but they were unable to recover their teammate.”