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Search and Rescue operation continues for Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag sailor

27 March 2018 - News - Press

UPDATE 0100 UTC

Search and Rescue operation continues for Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag sailor

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is continuing to lead efforts to recover Volvo Ocean Race sailor John Fisher (UK), who was reported overboard off Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag early on Monday afternoon UTC.

The Scallywag team, assisted by the MRCC, conducted an exhaustive search and rescue operation in an effort to recover Fisher, who was on watch and wearing appropriate survival gear when he went overboard.

The remaining crew are reported safe.

The wind in the area at the time was a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state. Water temperature was 9-degrees Celsius. There is still daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours, and darkness will come at approximately 01:20 UTC.

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

The MRCC continues in attempts to contact other ships that may be able to assist.

The weather in the area is forecast to deteriorate significantly in the coming hours. Given the severity of the forecast and with nightfall an hour away, we acknowledge the chances of a successful recovery are diminishing.

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

We will have more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE 1855 UTC

Man overboard on Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag

Race Control for the Volvo Ocean Race has been informed by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag of a man overboard incident on Monday afternoon at approximately 13:42 UTC.

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 remaining crew are reported safe.

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. There is daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours.

Given the gale force conditions it is not an option to divert any of the other six Volvo Ocean Race competitors, who are at least 200 miles further east and downwind of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, to assist in the search operation.

The MRCC has identified a ship approximately 400 nautical miles away and it has been diverted to the scene.

Naturally we are deeply concerned, especially given the weather conditions, and Race Control in Alicante is supporting the Scallywag team and MRCC throughout the operation.

We will have more information as it becomes available. The Volvo Ocean Race is a 45,000 nautical mile race around the world. The teams are currently on Day 9 of Leg 7, a 7,600-mile race from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil

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