British yachtsman John Fisher has been declared "lost at sea" by Volvo Ocean Race organisers after he fell overboard during the around-the-world race.
The 47-year-old, a crew member for Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, was reported as having gone overboard Monday, and Richard Brisius, president of the Volvo Ocean Race, provided an update Tuesday via the event's official website:
"This morning I am extremely sad to inform you that one of our sailors, John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea.
"This is heart-breaking for all of us. As sailors and race organisers losing a crew member at sea is a tragedy we don't ever want to contemplate. We are devastated and our thoughts are with John’s family, friends and teammates."
The statement added that Fisher's team conducted "an exhaustive search for several hours in extremely challenging weather conditions, but they were unable to recover their teammate," and the presumption now is "John has been lost at sea."
Per Mary Bowerman of USA Today, he went overboard 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn, Chile.
The Briton was competing for the first time in the Volvo Ocean Race, which began in Alicante, Spain, on Oct. 22 and is set to finish after 45,000 nautical miles in the Hague, Netherlands, in June.