Overboard Volvo Ocean Race sailor presumed lost at sea

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A British crewman taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race has fallen overboard in the inhospitable Southern Ocean 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn.

Despite winds of 35 knots and foul conditions, Scallywag conducted a search for several hours but did not locate Fisher.

"There is daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours", they said.

The MRCC has identified a ship approximately 400 nautical miles away and it has been diverted to the scene.

Organisers described it as the "defining" leg of the race, through "some of the coldest, roughest ocean in the world".

All of us here at the Volvo Ocean Race organisation send our heartfelt condolences out to John's family, his friends and his teammates and we will do everything in our power to support them in this very hard time.

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'All of us here at the Volvo Ocean Race organisation send our heartfelt condolences out to John's family, his friends and his teammates and we will do everything in our power to support them in this very hard time'.

John Fisher, a 47-year-old British man, was on watch and wearing survival gear when he fell overboard on the ninth day of the seventh leg of the 7,000-mile journey from Auckland, New Zealand, to Iajai, Brazil.

"All of us here at the Volvo Ocean Race organisation send our heartfelt condolences out to John's family, his friends and his teammates and we will do everything in our power to support them in this very hard time".

Richard Brisius, the president of the Volvo Ocean Race, said the crew was "emotionally and physically drained after what they have just experienced". The other yachts in the race are already 200 miles downwind in storm force conditions, rendering them unable to participate in a search. "Despite the dangers of the sport, he loved his sailing".

Fisher's team had stood in third place in the race overall after the last leg.

Fisher competed in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, which has been described as one of the world's toughest offshore races.

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We will have more information as it becomes available. "He is a great and experienced sailor, the finest human being and a true Scallywag".

The teams are now on Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajai, Brazil which covers 7,600 nautical miles.

"The main thing is, we got him back on board".

"Not many people come to such remote spots on the planet so it is a weird thing", he said.

In May 2006, Dutchman Hans Horrevoets died when he was washed overboard while sailing for ABN Amro in the Volvo Ocean Race.

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