Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

John Fisher tribute: Hong Kong’s Scallywag reach safety, search for missing sailor ‘deactivated’

David Witt and his crew have reached landfall in Chile’s west coast, eight days after losing their colleague in the Southern Ocean

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2018, 8:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2018, 8:29pm

Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag made land fall on the west coast of Chile on Tuesday, eight days after crew member John Fisher went overboard. Volvo Ocean Race officials also confirmed that the search for the missing sailor has been called off.

The rest of the fleet, meanwhile, were closing in on the finish line with Team Brunel and China’s Dongfeng battling for first place in leg seven from Auckland to Itajai in Brazil. They were expected to finish late on Tuesday (Hong Kong time).

Watch a tribute to John Fisher

Briton Fisher, 47, was knocked overboard into the treacherous Southern Ocean on Monday, March 26 after being hit by a piece of equipment as he was trying to clean up a furled sail. The weather was rough with high waves and up to 40-knot winds.

Fisher had unclipped his safety tether as he approached the furled sail. Scallywag was about 1,400 miles from Cape Horn at the time.

“The team has been fighting a relentless emotional and physical battle over the last seven days, to ensure the rest of the crew and their Volvo Ocean 65 arrived on shore safely,” said VOR in a release on Tuesday.

“For the short term, the team says it will remain in Chile as they debrief and decide on future plans.

The team will release more information as it becomes available.”

VOR also said that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Chile has confirmed that the search and rescue operation for Fisher has been “deactivated”.