Volvo Sailor Lost at Sea

Author:
Publish date:
British sailor John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed lost at sea

British sailor John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed lost at sea

British sailor John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea after going overboard yesterday afternoon in rough weather.

While no details have been released on exactly what happened, the team was apparently battling big seas and 35-plus knot winds at the time of the incident and was in the heart of the Southern Ocean about 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn.

According to the Volvo Ocean Race, the team searched for several hours before finally calling off its search. What follows is a statement from Richard Brisius, president of the Volvo Ocean Race:

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 organizers 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. Given the cold water temperature and the extreme sea state, along with the time that has now passed since he went overboard, we must now presume that John has been lost at sea.

All of us here at the Volvo Ocean Race organization send our heartfelt condolences out to John's family, his friends and his teammates and we will do everything in our power to support them in this very difficult time.

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag has now resumed heading in a north-easterly direction. In fact, the team is currently in a challenging position. The weather is deteriorating and is forecast to be quite severe over the course of today. The crew is, of course, emotionally and physically drained after what they have just experienced. Our sole focus now is to provide all the support and assistance that we can to the team.

We are sure that there will be many questions about how one of our sailors was lost overboard yesterday. We can address those after the team has been fully debriefed. Today, our thoughts and prayers go out to John's family and the entire Scallywag team.

March 2018

Related

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Relieve the load  One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa ...read more

05

Ask Sail: Water Getting into Coax

Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. — Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Gordan West Replies  Last winter your region was ...read more

Instrumentation-Vakaros-Atlas-Head-On-(New-Main-Screen)

Gear: Vakaros Atlas

Small-boat Race Instrumentation The compact Vakaros Atlas provides real-time, on-the-water performance data as well as off-the-water analytics aboard smaller raceboats. Among the parameters measured are GPS speed, magnetic heading, time-to-line, VMG, pitch and leeway. The system ...read more

JeanneSocrates02

77-Year-Old Completes Solo Circumnavigation

After 320 days at sea, British sailor Jeanne Socrates, 77, arrived in Victoria, British Colombia, on Saturday, completing her latest circumnavigation and in the process becoming the oldest person ever to sail solo, nonstop around the world. Prior to the voyage, Socrates was ...read more