The Volvo Ocean Race confirmed today that Vestas 11th Hour Racing, one of the teams competing in the 2017-18 race, was involved in a fatal collision with a non-race vessel before the finish of Leg 4, near Hong Kong.
The team retired from Leg 4 and began proceeding to Hong Kong unassisted and under its own power.
Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).
Race Control requested teamAkzoNobel to divert from its course to the finish line in Hong Kong to support Vestas 11th Hour following the collision with the fishing vessel.
Updated reports informed MyPE that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel resulted in a fatality of a crew member of the fishing vessel.
The Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing offered their deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.
The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.
HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member.
Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.
All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.
— Kurt Hoehne (@kurthoehne) January 20, 2018
WHY? It is a little known fact that Port Elizabeth has been approached TWICE to bid on becoming a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race – the first attempt was stopped by our local Port Authorities and we await the outcome of the second. The home of Volvo Cars is Gothenburg – the second-largest city in Sweden which is twinned with Nelson Mandela Bay and which has provided incredible support and promotion for our Metropole.
MyPE is running a series of articles about the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race to: 1. Acknowledge and thank Gothenburg for their support, 2. Showcase a sport that Alan Straton is passionate about, 3. Demonstrate to citizens of Port Elizabeth just how much exposure a city like Cape Town receives from the VOR and 4. As a gentle reminder to the TNPA and our city of the great value that such an event can bring to our city.
The start city of the VOR – Alicante, Spain – estimates the economic value of each leg to be R960 Million. Click here to read very Volvo Ocean Race published on MyPE.
The local Algoa Bay Yacht Club has hosted many international sailing regattas, the most recent being the 60th 5O5 World Championships and, along with requests from the Volvo Ocean Race, have also recently been asked to host the 2019 stopover for the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.
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