SAN FRANCISCO – Another tragic loss for the Volvo Ocean Race. One now hears from government search and rescue sources in Washington, D.C. that after some several hours of searching by the yacht SHK/SCALLYWAG for their shipmate, John Fisher (GBR/AUS), the search has been called off and Mr Fisher declared "Lost at Sea" in the frigid southern Pacific Ocean with 35 knot winds, 5-10m seas and near-freezing air and sea temps.
VOR media reported earlier this afternoon that they were alerted by the yacht at 13:42 UTC (0642 PDT, some ten hours ago) that Mr Fisher went overboard approx 1400 miles west of Cape Horn on Day 9 of Leg 7, a 7,600-mile race from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil.
There have been conflicting reports about whether Mr Fisher had on foul weather gear or a dry suit, but even in a drysuit surviving such conditions in the water for more than an hour or so would be highly unusual.
See our initial report on SAILING ILLUSTRATED from a three hours ago here.
The media have been told to expect an update from VOR headquarters in Alicante, Spain yet today (Monday evening in SF).
In the meantime our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr Fisher, his SCALLYWAG shipmates, and all involved with the VOR.
Screengrab from the SHK/SCALLYWAG page on the Volvo Ocean Race website.