There is terrible news today from ABN2. Crew member Hans Horrevoets was swept overboard into the cold Atlantic in 30 knot winds and 5 metre seas. Immediately the boat went into man overboard mode, dropping sails and turning round. While they successfully recovered him they were unable to resuscitate despite advice from Plymouth Hospital.
Hans was an experienced professional sailor, who had been on Brunel Sunergy in the 1997-1998 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. He was the oldest crew member on ABN AMRO TWO and the only one who has a partner and a kid; an 11-month old daughter.
We know offshore sailing is dangerous and accept the risks. Han's Q&A before the race on the ABN site is especially poignant.
But no knowledge or preparation can help against tragic news like this that wrenches one's gut. Our thoughts are with his family and his crewmates in this difficult time.
Picture from http://team.abnamro.com