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VOR: Statement issued by SHK/SCALLYWAG owner and sponsor Lee Sung Huang

HONG KONG – Text of a statement just issued by Lee Seng Huang and Sun Hung Kai & Co., owner and sponsor of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag:

We are devastated by the news involving our crew member, John Fisher, following a man overboard incident early on Monday afternoon UTC. [Skipper David] Witty and the Scallywag crew have been battling extremely treacherous conditions in the Southern Ocean and this tragedy is heart breaking. The crew did everything they could to recover John, leading an extensive search and rescue operation in stormy conditions. Now, with the forecast worsening and night falling, the team has made the difficult decision to head for landfall, 1,200 nautical miles away in South America. Over our long passages, I have come to know Fish well. Despite the dangers of the sport he loved his sailing. He is one of our own, a long-standing member of the team. He is a great and experienced sailor, the finest human being and a true Scallywag. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family and the crew at this most difficult time, and we are working with Volvo Ocean Race to provide all the support we can. Our focus now, is getting the boat and crew to a safe harbour.

Recent photo of SHK/SCALLYWAG crew member John Fisher (GBR/AUS), courtesy of the team's Twitter feed via the Australian Broadcast Company (ABC News). Mr Fisher and his family are members of the Christies Sailing Club in Christies Beach, just south of Adelaide (AUS).