Sailor missing after going overboard in Volvo Ocean Race

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Yachting,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 9:57AM
British sailor John Fisher has been missing in the Southern Ocean for several hours. (Photo \ Getty Images)
British sailor John Fisher has been missing in the Southern Ocean for several hours. (Photo \ Getty Images)

A sailor from Team Sun Hung Ka/Scallywag has gone overboard and is missing during the latest leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Race Control said in a statement that the crew member was John Fisher of Great Britain, who was wearing survival equipment when he went overboard at 13:42 UTC (NZT 2.42am).

The team, along with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), has been conducting a search and rescue operation. The remaining crew are reported safe.

Teams are currently on day nine of Leg 7, a 7600-mile race from Auckland to ItajaĆ­, Brazil, however Team Sun Hung Ka/Scallywag was some distance from the other six teams when the incident occurred.

The incident took place approximately 1400 miles west of Cape Horn, the statement reads. The wind in the search area is a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state.

Water temperature is 9C. 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.

48-year-old Fisher, who lives in Adelaide, is appearing in his first ever Volvo Ocean Race after previously competing in the Sydney to Hobart race.

A person died in an earlier leg of the race after Vestas 11th Hour Racing struck a fishing boat about 40km from the finish line of Leg 4 in Hong Kong.

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