The Adelaide sailor  was swept overboard in gale-force conditions in the Southern Ocean during the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Adelaide sailor was swept overboard in gale-force conditions in the Southern Ocean during the Volvo Ocean Race.

Sydney-Hobart sailor ‘lost at sea’ in extreme conditions

A SYDNEY to Hobart veteran who went overboard during a round-the-world race in the Atlantic Ocean is now presumed to have been lost at sea, competition organisers have said.

John Fisher, an Adelaide-based crew member of the Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag yacht team, is thought to have perished in "extreme" sea conditions around 1400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn, South America.

President of the Volvo Ocean Race Richard Brisius said despite conducting an exhaustive search in challenging conditions, teammates had been forced to turn towards land without the British sailor.

Sailor John Fisher is now presumed lost at sea after going overboard in the harsh, remote Southern Ocean 1400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn. Picture: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race via AP
Sailor John Fisher is now presumed lost at sea after going overboard in the harsh, remote Southern Ocean 1400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn. Picture: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race via AP

"Given the cold water temperature and the extreme sea state, along with the time that has now passed since he went overboard, we must now presume that John has been lost at sea," said Mr Brisius.

"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 difficult time."

Mr Brisius said the Sun Hung Kai team remained in a "challenging position" as weather continued to deteriorate throughout the day, and crew members had been left "emotionally and physically drained" by their friend's loss.

"Our sole focus now is to provide all the support and assistance that we can to the team," he added.



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