VOLVO OCEAN RACE 
 
   British sailor John Fisher was racing in the Volvo Ocean Race aboard Team Sun Hung Kai  Scallywag

He fell overboard on Monday, March 26, in the stormy Southern Ocean around 1,400 nautical miles west of the cape.

The seventh team, 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.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is leading the search efforts to find Fisher, but weather conditions are forecast to "deteriorate significantly".

The MRCC has already requested a ship, almost 400 nautical miles away, divert to the scene.

SHK/Scallywag has thus made the hard decision to turn downwind and head towards the South American coast, the nearest safe landfall, approximately 1,200 nautical miles away.

Man Falls Overboard During Leg 7 of Volvo Ocean Race
Hopes fade for sailor swept overboard in Volvo Ocean Race

The crew sailed 26,500 nautical miles from there to Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Auckland.

John Fisher, 47, was competing in the 45,000-nautical-mile race around the world, which started October 22 in Spain and will end in the Netherlands in June, for the first time.

Race officials said the 47-year-old sailor was on watch and wearing appropriate survival gear when he went overboard.

"All of us here at the Volvo Ocean Race organisation 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 hard time".

"This is heart-breaking for all of us", Volvo Ocean Race President Richard Brisius said Tuesday morning in a statement, The Telegraph reported.


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, noted Brisius.

One member of the fishing vessel's crew died after being taken to hospital by helicopter.

Commodore of the club Marc Read says Mr Fisher was highly experienced and safety conscious. "Despite the dangers of the sport, he loved his sailing".

Mr Fisher was a member of the Christies Sailing Club, which described the sailor as a "treasured member of our family".

Our thoughts are with his family and of course the Scallywag crew.


The sailing veteran is a long-term member of the Ragamuffin and Scallywag "super maxi" crews and has competed in the Sydney to Hobart race several times.

The remainder of the race fleet was continuing on the leg to Itajaí, Brazil.

"Not many people come to such remote spots on the planet so it is a weird thing", he said.

In May 2006, Dutch sailor Hans Horrevoets was swept overboard when a wave hit ABN AMRO TWO in the Atlantic Ocean.


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