The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is continuing to lead efforts to recover Volvo Ocean Race sailor John Fisher (UK), who was reported overboard off Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag early on Monday afternoon UTC.
The Scallywag team, assisted by the MRCC, conducted an exhaustive search and rescue operation in an effort to recover Fisher, who was on watch and wearing appropriate survival gear when he went overboard.
The remaining crew are reported safe. (See: Man Overboard in Southern Ocean)
The wind in the area at the time was a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state. Water temperature was 9-degrees Celsius. There is still daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours, and darkness will come at approximately 01:20 UTC.
The MRCC has already requested a ship, nearly 400 nautical miles away, divert to the scene.
The MRCC continues in attempts to contact other ships that may be able to assist.
The weather in the area is forecast to deteriorate significantly in the coming hours. Given the severity of the forecast and with nightfall just over an hour away, we acknowledge the chances of a successful recovery are diminishing.
SHK/Scallywag has thus made the difficult decision to turn downwind and head towards the South American coast, the nearest safe landfall, approximately 1,200 nautical miles away.
We will have more information as it becomes available.