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The Loadstar is deeply saddened to report that former chief executive of HACTL Mark Whitehead has died– tragically, just three weeks into a well-earned retirement.

A letter from new HACTL chief executive Wilson Kwong said Mr Whitehead passed away in his sleep while competing on the Orient Express in the China Sea Race, a yacht race that ended on Sunday.

Sailing was his passion, and he had planned to spend much of his retirement on the waves. He competed in the 2016 China Sea Race in his yacht Straight Up.

Mr Whitehead was Commodore of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club from 2014 to 2016. The club said he was “a force of energy and fun” and a “passionate” sailor. Flags at its three clubhouses were flown at half-mast on Sunday. You can see comments on the Facebook page here.

Mr Kwong wrote: “Despite his retirement from Hactl on 7th March, Mark remained connected with, and firmly committed to, Hactl’s development in the new role of advisor. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.

“We shall coordinate condolence messages for the family and you may send a message to: [email protected]. Details of the funeral arrangements will be advised.”

IATA Cargo chief Glyn Hughes said: “Mark will be sadly missed as he was a true gentleman who possessed the unique qualities of being a great innovator and fantastic communicator.  His passion for sailing, his family, his colleagues and this industry were truly inspirational.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.”

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