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Thread: 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #211
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Fatality confirmed of fishing vessel crew member
    The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew of the fishing vessel.

    On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our 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.
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  2. #212
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    Read The News Today: Oh Boy



    Front Page of South China Morning News Linky


    A man died on Saturday after a yacht competing in an around-the-world race crashed with a fishing boat just outside Hong Kong waters in the early hours.

    The vessel of American-Danish team Vestas 11th Hour Racing hit the mainland fishing boat at about 2am. The latter sank and 10 fishermen fell into the sea, the organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race confirmed.

    Marine police and other emergency services launched a rescue mission after the yacht’s crew sent a distress signal. The fishermen were picked up to the east of Waglan Island.

    One crew member from the fishing boat was seriously injured and had to be taken to hospital by helicopter. He was confirmed dead at 6.30am, a police spokesman said.

    The others were being treated at Eastern Hospital.

    The racing sailors were reported safe. Their 65ft sloop was slightly damaged, the organiser said.

    The police spokesman said officers were investigating.

    The Volvo Ocean Race, held every three years, started in Alicante, Spain. Melbourne-Hong Kong was the fourth leg of 11 in the event.

    This year’s edition stops at 12 cities, with seven teams taking about eight months to finish the voyage, which ends in The Hague, the Netherlands, in June. This is the first year that the race has stopped at Hong Kong.


    A rival team reported that Vestas 11th Hour Racing, which had retired from the leg and was proceeding under its own power to Hong Kong, had collided with a fishing boat.

    A spokesman for the Government Flying Service, which sent the helicopter, said it received a call about the crash at 2.37am. The caller told the operator one crew member was missing while nine others had already been pulled up by other boats.

    A rescue helicopter arrived at the scene at 4.30am to pick up the man, who was unconscious but had been pulled onto a sailing boat.

    Before the crash, Vestas, led by Americans Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, had been in position to finish second in the leg, which Hong Kong-based Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag won.


    Race organisers said in a statement: “The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew member of the fishing vessel.

    “On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.”

    It is not the first death associated with the race. A Dutch sailor died after falling overboard during the 2006 race, and three competitors died during the inaugural race in 1973-74, with two of the bodies never recovered.
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  3. #213
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    Update: Vestas 11th Hour Racing collision

    Phil Lawrence, Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race, gives an update on the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a non-racing vessel overnight on Friday.
    January 21, 2018
    05:00 UTC

    Phil, what do we know about what happened on the night of Friday 19 January between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a non-racing boat?


    First of all, we know a man lost his life, tragically, after an incident with one of our race boats. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones and family. We are relieved that the nine other mariners on board were rescued and initial reports have them in good condition.

    In terms of what happened, we know a collision occurred shortly before 1723 UTC (which is when Race Control received the first message from Vestas 11th Hour Racing) between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a non-racing vessel. The incident took place around 30 miles from the Leg 4 finish line in Hong Kong.


    Vestas 11th Hour Racing immediately stopped racing, informed us at Race Control of the incident (at 1736 UTC), sent a Mayday distress signal on behalf of the other vessel and aided in the search and rescue mission.

    What happened then?

    Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre informed Race Control that a nearby commercial vessel had rescued nine of the crew from the other boat, and a tenth was taken to hospital by helicopter after he had been rescued from the water by the Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew. We’re deeply saddened to report that Hong Kong MRCC confirmed the death of that airlifted crewmember later on Saturday morning.

    What happened to the Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew and boat?


    All Vestas 11th Hour Racing crewmembers are safe and uninjured but the boat suffered some damage to its hull. After participating in the rescue, the team was able to return to port without assistance and under its own power despite the damage. At no time did Vestas 11th Hour Racing request assistance for themselves.

    What caused the collision? Was the other boat showing navigation lights, or using the AIS (Automatic Identification System)?


    We don’t have answers to those questions yet but of course those are central question to the on-going investigation. Both Vestas 11th Hour Racing and the Volvo Ocean Race will cooperate with the relevant authorities to establish what happened.

    Could Race Control have prevented this accident by informing Vestas 11th Hour Racing of an imminent collision?


    No. While Race Control does monitor the position of the race boats for safety reasons, Race Control does not have access to the position of every other vessel at sea.

    What do we know about the other vessel involved in the collision and its crew?


    We are trying to find out more. We know the other boat was damaged significantly and understand that it sank as a result of the incident. We know that 10 crew were on board and that all 10 were recovered but tragically, one was later pronounced dead at the hospital. We at Volvo Ocean Race, along with Vestas 11th Hour Racing are working with the local authorities to learn more about the crew of the boat involved in the incident. In fact, that is our main priority.

    Can you release the name of the casualty?

    We are seeking confirmation of identity from authorities as well as the appropriate information to release as per local custom.

    What happened with Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel in terms of them assisting with the rescue?

    Dongfeng Race Team were the first race boat to be near the scene and they immediately offered to divert to assist. Race Control notified Dongfeng Race Team they could be released from the scene and at 1821 UTC Vestas 11th Hour Racing confirmed by email to Dongfeng Race Team that additional assistance was not required, so the team continued on to the finish.

    Later, when team AkzoNobel arrived near the area on its route to the finish line, Race Control requested they stand by to support Vestas 11th Hour Racing as a precaution. Neither Vestas 11th Hour Racing nor the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre requested this assistance and once it was clear they were not required, Race Control released team AkzoNobel to finish the leg.

    How is the crew of Vestas 11th Hour Racing?

    As you would imagine they are very shaken and deeply saddened by the incident. They are being supported by the rest of their team as well the Volvo Ocean Race organisation and have access to professional support should they request it.

    What happens next?

    Along with Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we are actively working with the Hong Kong Police and the Maritime Authority to support the on-going investigation.
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  4. #214
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    Nightmare Sailing In Hong Kong Waters

    Fishing boats and nets everywhere, it’s a nightmare’: why Hong Kong’s waters are so dangerous for sailing




    [The Vestas yacht was sent to a port in Tsing Yi after it hit a mainland fishing boat at about 2am on Saturday. Photo: Felix Wong]


    Sailors give their accounts of racing in one of the world’s busiest ports as fatal collision mars Volvo Ocean Race
    PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 January, 2018, 6:56pm
    UPDATED : Saturday, 20 January, 2018, 11:40pm


    The fatal collision between a Volvo Ocean Race yacht and a fishing vessel east of Waglan Island, just outside Hong Kong waters, on Saturday has highlighted the dangers of racing in or around one of the busiest ports in the world.

    Hong Kong was ranked the sixth-busiest port in the world from 2007-2016, according to the International Association of Ports and Harbours, with an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 vessels entering and leaving annually.

    The Marine Department records a total of 18,540 Hong Kong-licensed vessels in 2016, an increase from 13,519 in 2007. Fishing carriers, sampans and vessels – class three vessels – make up 6,631 of the total. Figures for vessels from the mainland plying adjoining waters were not available but sailors’ accounts suggest they are numerous.




    “When you sail out of Hong Kong on the first night, it’s a shocker,” said Hong Kong policeman Justin Shave, who has raced on Hong Kong boats Ragamuffin and Scallywag. “Fishing boats and nets are everywhere – it’s a nightmare.”

    “They are extremely hard to predict and the navigation lights are not clear. Fishing vessels may drop miles of fishing lines in the water with sailing boats having to duck and weave through.”

    Weaving through the heavy marine traffic and avoiding boats and fishing lines requires extra concentration at the best of times. Introduce seven 65-foot long, 10-storey high Volvo Ocean boats to the mix and the chance of accidents surely increases.





    Former America’s Cup China team member and Hong Kong Catamarans project manager Thierry Barot said the competing sailing boats’ speed – travelling at roughly 20 to 30 knots – may have played a role in the collision, which killed one of the 10 fishing vessel crew members.

    “The boats go over 20 knots, so the distance to see [in front of you] and react becomes shorter and shorter. It makes a difference, just like if you’re driving on the highway.

    [The Scallywag crew celebrate winning the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in Hong Kong. Photo: Volvo Ocean Race]

    “When you spot something, the first thing to do is to identify what it is, where it’s going and where you’re going. You are always estimating with the resources and electronics on board, but the problem is that you’re going fast.”

    But Barot is quick to defend the “pure” and “open” waters, insisting safety is at the top of every captain’s priority.

    “These guys are professional and they know how to manage dramatic situations because there is a lot of training these days; safety and security,” said Barot. “Thirty years ago you just got on a boat, but now they have to pass their yacht masters and different safety exams.

    “[Collisions] happen at sea, on the road, and in the air, everywhere. It was night time, the fishermen were doing their job and so were the sailors. It’s bad news for everyone, but the sea is for everyone – it must be shared.”

    Robby Nimmo contributed to this report
    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: ‘Nightmare’ scenario off Hong Kong waters

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  5. #215
    Curious as to what the fishing vessel they hit looked like.

    Can their boat be impounded?

  6. #216
    I suspect there are a lot of attorneys gathered round a big table sussing things out about now.

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