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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 May 2006, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Ocean race tragedy
Hans Horrevoets, who died on 18 May
Hans Horrevoets, 32, died on 18 May

The death of Dutchman Hans Horrevoets cast a huge shadow over the Volvo Ocean Race.

Horrevoets, 32, who was not wearing a harness, was washed overboard from ABN Amro Two on 18 May about 1,300 miles from Land's End in Cornwall.

He was found and lifted back on board but failed to regain consciousness. His funeral will be held in Holland on Saturday.

A matter of 30 seconds or a minute and he would have been down to put on his harness
Crewman Nick Bice

The team reached Portsmouth on Tuesday, after rescuing the crew of stricken rival Movistar, and faced the media for the first time.

Read what happened in their own words.

Skipper Sebastien Josse (Fra):
We sailed downwind in 25-30 knots wind, I was on the wheel, Hans on the spinnaker sheet. One nosedive, and Hans was not on board. We started the procedure of rescue for Hans. He did not have a harness or life jacket.

Navigator Simon Fisher (GB):
We had all got up for a sail change, during which the wind went from 12-14 knots to 25 knots quite quickly. The waves got big and we went downstairs to put our harnesses on.

Hans was hanging on to the most important sail and would have been the last to go down.

Prior to changing the sail, it was our intention that all the crew would wear our harnesses at night. As sailors, we are also trying to make the boat go as fast as we can. We take safety very seriously but at the same time we are racing.

Crewman Nick Bice (Aus):
All the people on deck at the time except Hans were clipped on. He was trimming the spinnaker, the most important sail and the last person to go to get clipped on is that guy.

ABN Amro Two
Amro Two with the crew of Movistar and the body of Horrevoets

A matter of 30 seconds or a minute and he would have been down to put on his harness.

Simon Fisher:
Immediately Seb hailed "Man Overboard" and called everyone on deck. Being the navigator, I was responsible for hitting the man overboard button, making sure we got back to the place where we lost Hans. The time was 0310 BST.

It blew me away how professional this team was. These boats go very fast - downwind at 25 knots. Within minutes we had the spinnaker down and the boat turned around and going back. It was really, really impressive.

The Jon buoy (inflatable recovery raft) was deployed along with the life ring, smoke flare and flashlight, as well as the other torches that we had in the cockpit.

The guys on deck had searchlights all ready. Simeon Tienpont had on his diving gear ready to get into water if needed.

We motored back upwind and half a mile away we found the life ring. At 0.2 miles we found the Jon buoy, and shortly thereafter we found Hans. The time was about 0400 BST.

Hans and the crew will be in our hearts forever
Mariek van der Rij, sister of Horrevoets' partner Petra

Crewman Simeon Tienpont (Ned):
By the time we found Hans, we saw he was drowned.

As soon as we got him on the deck, we had him downstairs within a minute and we started immediately with five of us trying to resuscitate him, checking on each other, keeping the right pace and being as professional as we could.

We tried to warm him up. George [Peet] and I spoke to the doctors in the UK, and asked them for advice.

Simon Fisher:
We ended resuscitation at 0520 BST, and it took an hour to take stock and sit down together as a crew and talk a little.

Roy Heiner - technical sailing director Team ABN Amro:
There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for something like this.

These are sailors that need to continue in the future. Hans was a very personal friend, we sailed round the world together.

I think it is too early to say anything, it is completely the choice of the crew if they carry on or not.

But what we have said is that there will be no new team members. Either everyone has to do it or no one does it.

Crewman Lucas Brun (Bra):
I think the entire group, not just me, would take the decision to sail the Volvo again. Accidents do happen. This was an accident, it could have happened to any one of us. It is just life. It was very difficult.

Hans contributed to the success of team, he is embodied in the team.

It was a complete dream for him. He was completely happy, nothing could be more important to him in his sailing life.

He was very compassionate and hard working and a very team-orientated player.

Mariek van der Rij, sister of Horrevoets' partner Petra:
In her grief, Petra cannot find her words to express her sadness. We are very grateful to the crew that they were able to recover Hans under these circumstances. Hans and the crew will be in our hearts forever.

Crew member killed in Volvo race
18 May 06 |  Sailing
ABN Amro One first into New York
09 May 06 |  Sailing
Volvo fleet begins leg six dash
07 May 06 |  Sailing
ABN Amro One clinches port race
25 Mar 06 |  Sailing
Volvo skipper McDonald ousted
16 Mar 06 |  Sailing
ABN Amro One triumph in leg four
11 Mar 06 |  Sailing
Movistar edges out ABN Amro One
19 Feb 06 |  Sailing
ABN Amro One takes Melbourne leg
21 Jan 06 |  Sailing

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