HONG KONG – Posted without comment, the full text of the statement finally issued by VOR media a few minutes ago after Sailing Illustrated broke the story of the collision in a worldwide exclusive earlier today. The South China Morning Post has also weighed in with a story that confirms our SI post of now many hours ago.
The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew of the fishing vessel.
On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.
The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.
HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member.
Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.
All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.
Photo courtesy of Sailing Anarchy. Vestas 11th Hour Racing has been diverted from the official VOR race harbor to another marina in west Kowloon where, no doubt, they will be interviewed by CHN authorities.