Current status of Vestas Wind There isn’t much information…

Current status of Vestas Wind

There isn’t much information available so far. Below the cut is a timeline of what happened when, with timestamps in UTC and local (Mauritius) time.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

0200 UTC (0700 Mauritius): Yann Riou on Dongfeng quotes skipper Charles Caudrelier in a tweet: “@Ccaudrelier : an island in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of our course. Small navigation error that costs us 2 miles.” Dongfeng was about 50 miles south of the archipelago at the time, making me suspect that they picked up the problem from their charts, rather than from a visual sighting (though I guess it’s possible they spotted a cloud pattern that alerted them to the islands’ presence).

1054 UTC (1554 Mauritius): Yann on Dongfeng tweets the top photo above, saying, “Can’t find the name of the archipelago we sail along. But it looks nice… #dfrt #vor”.

1510 UTC (2010 Mauritius): Vestas contacts Volvo Race Control to tell them they’ve run aground. (Maybe? The wording of the subsequent announcement from Volvo Race Control implies that the contact took place at 1510. But it may be that it was the actual grounding that took place at 1510.)

1525 UTC (2025 Mauritius): The “live” tracker app, which shows boatspeed and heading averaged over the previous 15 minutes, shows a sudden drop of speed on Vestas from 18 knots to 8 knots for this time. That tracker data is not yet publicly visible, however.

1645 UTC (2145 Mauritius): The “live” tracker app data updates to show the 1525 speed drop by Vestas, with the boat’s track subsequently dropping to 1.3 knots of indicated boatspeed and an odd SE heading. User Alinghi4ever on the Sailing Anarchy forums points out the anomaly.

1702 UTC (2202 Mauritius): User grandsoleil on Sailing Anarchy correlates the boat’s position with Google Maps imagery on the fan tracker maintained by user Volodia, speculating that Vestas may be on the reef.

1843 UTC (2343 Mauritius): The official Volvo Ocean Race site posts and tweets a link to the first official announcement:

At 1510 UTC, Saturday, November 29, Team Vestas Wind informed Race Control that their boat was grounded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. Fortunately, no one has been injured.

We are in contact with the boat to establish the extent of the damage and ensure the crew is given the support needed to enable it to deal with the situation.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Reunion Island is aware of the problem.

The crew has informed us that it is currently grounded on a reef but nobody is injured. Volvo Ocean Race and Team Vestas Wind’s top priority is to make sure the crew is safe.

The crew has informed Race organisers that it now plans to abandon the boat as soon as possible after daybreak.

Team Alvimedica and two other vessels are in contact with Team Vestas Wind to assist.

We will give you more information as it becomes available.

2030 UTC (0130 Mauritius): Official site issues the following update:

Team Alvimedica has now arrived at the site, is in radio contact with Team Vestas Wind and standing by to assist Team Vestas Wind, waiting for daylight.

Race Control is in contact with Team Vestas Wind every hour. The situation is currently stable on board and the crew plans to remain on board until daylight.

There is also contact established with a coastguard station on Isle de Sud, approximately 1.5 km from the boat, which has a RIB available.

The plan is for this vessel to assist in abandoning the boat as soon as possible after daylight.

Both rudders have been reported broken by the Team Vestas Wind crew. The team has also reported water ingress in the stern compartment.

The Volvo Ocean 65 has watertight bulkheads in the bow and the stern. The remaining part of the boat is intact including the rig.

We will update as soon as we have further information. 

2140 UTC (0240 Mauritius): Official tracker update and Volodia fan tracker (bottom image above) shows Alvimedica standing by to assist on the west side of the reef, while SCA, having been informed their assistance isn’t needed, sails past the location of the grounding to the east.

2145 UTC (0245 Mauritius): Official site issues the following update:

Team Vestas Wind reported that they had now deployed two life rafts as the stern of the boat was being beaten on rocks of the reef. The bow is pointing out to sea.

The team added that they were keeping the life rafts some 15 metres from the boat, which the crew could reach if necessary.

There were no plans to do this yet but the life rafts had been deployed now as they may not be able to do so later.

The current plan remains to abandon the boat at daylight with the assistance of the coastguard at Íle du Sud as well as Team Alvimedica.

We will update you further as more details become available.

2341 UTC (0423 Mauritius): Official VOR YouTube channel posts a video of CEO Knut Frostad summarizing the situation.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

0119 UTC (0619 Mauritius): (Roughly 1.5 hours from now, at the time I’m posting this.) Local sunrise. This is the time when the local coast guard authorities (who reportedly have a rigid inflatable boat with twin engines on the island nearby) have requested the Vestas crew be prepared to abandon the vessel.

And that’s pretty much it as of now. There’s no official word about trying to salvage the boat. Doing so before it breaks up would probably require a decent-sized seagoing tug, which might not be possible to get on-site fast enough. But for now all the focus is (rightly) on rescuing the crew.

Reposted from

Tags: vor, volvo ocean race, team vestas wind.

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