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Man overboard! Volvo Ocean race sailor rescued unharmed

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By Tokunbo Salako  with Reuters
Sailor Alex Gough rescued by a shipmate after falling into the Pacific
Sailor Alex Gough rescued by a shipmate after falling into the Pacific   -   Copyright  Reuters/Sunset & Vine/Volvo Ocean Race

There was drama on the high seas on Sunday as the Volvo Ocean Race leader suffered a setback in the Pacific.

Team Hun Sung Hai/Scallywag had to carry out an emergency procedure to recover Alex Gough who fell overboard at speed.

It was a fortunate end for the sailor as he wasn't wearing a safety tether or a life jacket.

Man overboard!

The fleet of seven boats is heading north to the Philippines and end leg four from Melbourne to Hong Kong, with some 2,000 nautical miles remaining.

Losing at least five nautical miles, the 22-metre (72 foot) craft was worked back to pluck Gough from the water. Skipper David Witt said Gough should have been tethered, or at least informed him, before climbing onto the boat's outrigger. A heavy sea bucked Gough into the water and the crew had difficulty spotting the sailor in the ocean as they returned to fetch him. Witt told Gough the only time he had been seen was when he waved his arm above his head.

Some have pointed out how lucky Gough is to be alive

Team Hun Sung Hai/Scallywag has a lead of about 13 nautical miles over second placed Team AkzoNobel with Dongfeng Race Team not far behind.

The route for the race