A Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race Disappears at Sea

Richard Brisius, president of Volvo Ocean Race, has officially announced the loss of John Fisher, crewmember of Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag.

Richard Brisius, president of Volvo Ocean Race, officially announced on Tuesday the disappearance at sea of John Fisher, crew member of Scallywag:

“It is extremely sad for me to report this morning that one of our sailors, John Fisher, of Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, has been reported missing on the high seas.

This is heartbreaking for all of us. As sailors and regatta organizers, losing a crewmember at sea is a tragedy that we never want to consider. We are devastated, and our thoughts are with John’s family, his friends and his teammates. ”


All alarms were unleashed this Monday at 13:42 UTC (14:42 Spanish time) in the Race Control of the Volvo Ocean Race whose headquarters are in Alicante: the Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag launched the alert “man to the water”.

John Fisher, British crewmember of the Hong Kong-flagged ship, had fallen overboard while on duty, equipped with the survival suit.

The accident took place in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn. Just 24 hours before, the fleet had crossed the most inhospitable point of the planet: the “Punto Nemo” or “oceanic pole of inaccessibility”.

The wind in the area at that time was 35 knots to the west, accompanied by heavy seas. The temperature of the water was nine degrees Celsius and all forecasts pointed to a worsening of weather conditions in the later hours.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC), in permanent communication with the Scallywag, immediately deployed all the necessary resources to recover Fisher.

However, the rescue command faced the worst of scenarios: the boat closest to the crash site was 400 nautical miles away and more than a day’s travel. Although the ship quickly set course to the scene of the incident, the harshness of the weather forecast meant that the chances of rescuing the crewmember alive were remote.

Finally, the Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag made the difficult decision to jibe and head for the coast of South America, the area of ​​the nearest mainland, located approximately 1,200 nautical miles away.

Although safe, the rest of the crew “is emotionally and physically exhausted after what they have just experienced”, explained the president of the Volvo Ocean Race. “Our sole objective is to provide the team with all the support and help we can,” Brisius continued.

Lee Seng Huang and Sun Hung Kai & Co, owners and sponsors of the Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag Team, were “devastated” in a published statement issued on Tuesday.

According to the note, the entire Scallywag crew “has done everything possible to recover John Fisher alive, leading an intense search and rescue operation in extreme conditions.”

Seng Huang and Sun Hung Kai & Co remind Fisher of his passion for sailing, a crewman with enormous experience, “the best of human beings and an authentic Scallywag”.

Born in Southampton (United Kingdom), sailor John Fisher, 47, resided in Adelaide (Australia)

In addition to having a great experience as a sailor aboard the Maxis Ragamuffinand Scallywag, Fisher had been sailing for many years with skipper David Witt.

With Witt, the Sydney-Hobart veteran made the leap to the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time in the 2017-2018 edition.

John Fisher Member of the Volvo Ocean Race Disappears at Sea


The Nemo Point is the most inhospitable oceanic point, inaccessible and far from the civilization of the entire globe.

Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, it is so far from the mainland that the closest human beings are the astronauts of the International Space Station.

The crew of the space station orbit the Earth approximately 416 km, while the inhabited place closest to the Nemo Point is more than 1,600 kilometers away : to the north, Ducie Island (Pitcairn archipelago), to the northeast the Motuislet Nui (Easter Island) and, to the south, Maher Island (Antarctica).

Officially called “oceanic pole of inaccessibility “, this remote place in the middle of the ocean, was baptized with the name of Punto Nemo (‘no one’, in Latin) in memory of the writer Jules Verne.


The Volvo Ocean Race is the most extreme oceanic race in the world with a track of 45,000 miles around the globe. The teams are currently in Stage 7, a route of 7,600 miles between Auckland (New Zealand) and Itajaí (Brazil).



Source: Cadena Ser