Vestas’ Sailing Boat Runs Aground, Crew Rescued

The nine-member crew safely abandoned the boat overnight; rescued from the reef by nearby island coast guard boat.

The Team Vestas Wind boat ran aground on a reef late Saturday off the island of Mauritius. All nine crew members are now safe and on dry land after deciding to abandon the boat overnight. Luckily, no one from the crew was injured in the incident, which occurred from 1510 UTC on Saturday when their Volvo Ocean 65 hit the reef in Cargados Carajos Shoals, Mauritius.

“Since we were informed of the incident, the safety of the crew has been the first and only priority. The Vestas VOR team remained in constant contact with Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain and with the families of the crew members. Our skipper, Chris Nicholson, and the rest of the crew handled this extremely difficult situation with poise and professionalism. We express our gratitude to the Volvo Ocean Race organization, which has provided every conceivable support throughout the night. We also thank our colleagues on the Alvimedica race team for their support and outstanding professionalism during the rescue operations”, says Morten Albæk, Vestas Chief Marketing Officer.

Both rudders were broken in the accident, and there is damage to the stern, which was being beaten badly by the waves as it was stuck on the reef with the bow facing the ocean. The boat was taking on water in the stern. A team led by the Vestas shore crew is now en route to Mauritius to further assess the damage to the boat.

“The root cause of the accident is now under investigation. At this point, we can’t comment on the consequences regarding Team Vestas Wind’s continued participation in the Volvo Ocean Race, but we obviously hope to stay in the race. We will share more information as it becomes available”, says Morten Albæk.

Press release; Image: teamvestaswind