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  1. '…we understand John was wearing his safety equipment..' (4.53 in). As an off-shore sailor I really do not understand how this happened if he was actually attached to the boat. All I can say is that in this race, two people have died, quite unnecessarily and inexplicably. The speed at which the boats go (say 30+ knots) and the wind angle in the Southern Ocean mean that turning round to try to recover a MOB is impossible. Surely time to call a halt to this race.

  2. There's a report of what happened: "John Fisher was on deck, in the cockpit. At the time, he was moving forward to tidy up the FR0 sheet and had therefore unclipped his tether. As the mainsail swung across the boat in the gybe, the mainsheet system caught John and knocked him off the boat. The crew on board believe John was unconscious from the blow before he hit the water." –

  3. Terrible as it is to admit but any sailor going overboard in these conditions is effectively doomed no matter what efforts their teammates make to go back to them. It is informative that many fishermen never learn to swim to avoid false hope of rescue and extended periods of waiting for the inevitable

    As John Walker so clearly explained they had to try to effect a rescue but realistically there was no hope. I was a S&R officer in the Canadian Coast Guard and can confirm that even under the best of conditions a rescue is fraught with danger for all involved

  4. Our kind thoughts are with the man lost at sea, his family, the crew and the VOR hq. We need to understand, that they all are challenging the sea in their quest to go to the absolute limits of sailing. At this level, the edge is a very thin line and it takes little to cross it. The sea is crewl an mercyless, neiter good nor bad, it simply is what it is, the sea. The man lost at sea was doing what he wanted to do most. We hope scallywag can rejoin the race soon, continue in the name of the man lost at see, and thus making this sacrifice worthwhile.

  5. I can't stop thinking about the moment when the skipper says : ok, we stop the search and rescue efforts, and we'll now sail east again. Leaving their teammate behind. In the cold and dark water. Knowing what it means. As a decision maker in public and private large entities, I had the impression that sometimes I had tough choices to make. But nothing compares to this. Think about it. How can you make such a decision ? And how can you not make it, as you must also protect your crew and boat from those hellish waters ? Make no mistake: I am not criticizing David's decision. Far from it: I express my respect. I am in sympathy with the man that fate has placed in such a position. All my thoughts go of course to John's family and friends. And they also go to Scallywag's entire team, at sea and onshore. You will never forget. But you will sail on. If only, for John.

  6. I just hope David Witt and his crew Is not taking this as hard as I think he is. Knowing what a great bunch of guys and gals they all are I know they were all in deadly danger trying to find John. Tough call no word can describe. And for Johns family my heart goes out to you guys, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm crying as I write this. God bless you all.