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Thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #161

  2. #162
    Knut will hand out better charts for the troops at Christmas, me thinks.

  3. #163
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    ‘A picture tells a 1,000 words’ - this first aerial shot of Team Vestas Wind lying in an Indian Ocean reef.

    ©NCG Operations Room – MRCC Mauritius

    This graphic picture shows the stricken Team Vestas Wind lying in a reef in a remote Mauritius archipelago of St Brandon after being grounded there at the weekend.
    The team and race organisers are now working out the best way to recover the Volvo Ocean 65 in the Indian Ocean.

    Neil Cox, shore manager of the Danish team, said: “The photo paints a pretty graphic picture of what’s going on out there. The picture tells a 1,000 words.”
    He said his focus was still the security of the nine members of the crew.
    “We have still got nine guys sitting on what is basically a sand pit out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

    “They are still the priority. It’s a peace of mind to know they’re all safe and doing everything they can out there with the boat right now.”
    Cox said that sail ropes, fluids, electronics and hardware had been taken off the boat.
    The nine-strong crew abandoned ship in the early hours of Sunday morning after the collision at 19 knots at 1510 GMT the previous day and waded through knee-deep water to a dry position on the reef.

    They were picked up from there at daylight by a coastguard rib and taken to the nearby Íle du Sud.

    The islet has very little communications with the outside world and the crew are awaiting transportation back to Mauritius. This is expected to happen within the next 24 hours.

    The National Coast Guard of the Maritime Rescue Co-operation Centre (MRCC) of Mauritius took the pictures as part of its usual operations after such an incident.
    The crew have received food packages via an airdrop from a coastguard plane. It confirmed that all were uninjured in the collision.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  4. #164
    That's pretty reefed up!

    Sky-crane to the rescue?

  5. #165
    they parked it up real good there

  6. #166
    Should have stayed with the Cape Town to Oz route.

    Not many reefs in the Southern Ocean. Excitement every day.

    Beer stays cold.

  7. #167
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Cargados Carajos Shoals

    GeoGarage provides some clarity to the topography and bathemy surrounding the Cargados Carajo Shoals which Team Vesta's Wind ran into....

    “I don’t know 100% about other software packages, but Expedition routing can route freely (i.e. with no obstacles) or can be constrained by charts, or your own marks, or your own prohibited zones. Plenty of optimal route outputs run where you would have to put the wheels down.

    Ultimately, it is the user who defines how the routing output is run and results used.
    “The point I’m putting forward here is that software does not make someone a navigator. First you must be a navigator, and then know and understand the strengths and limitations of the tools you have.

    “When this is explained to a lot of people I meet, it is usually met with confused stares. The number of software jockeys (promoting themselves navigators) in yacht racing I have come across, who expect the answers to fall out of their computer, is astounding. Take the deck screen away from them and they couldn’t get out of the marina or find the top mark efficiently if their life depended on it.

    “Vestas Wind navigator Wouter Verbraak is one of the best, and firmly falls into the category of a superb yachtsman and navigator. He is one who understands the strengths and limitations of digital tools more than most will ever do. And one of the nicest guys in the sport to boot.
    “Mistakes happen. Just glad they are all safe and uninjured.”

    Cargados Carajos Shoals
    9.16 Cargados Carajos Shoals (16°38'S., 59°36'E.) is an
    extensive group of reefs, islets, and shoals. They have been reported
    to lie about 3 miles further SW than charted. The E side
    of the reef has not been closely examined, because it is almost
    impossible to approach it from the E; in addition to the tremendous
    sea always breaking over it, is reported to be steep-to,
    and, therefore, most dangerous to approach under any circumstance.
    Several small islets and rocks rise from the long central
    reef of Cargados Carajos Shoals, and others lie off its N end
    and its W side. All of them are low; many are subject to being
    submerged in heavy weather.

    9.16 Albatross Island (16°15'S., 59°35'E.) is about 3m high and
    is marked by a light. When viewed from the N, the light may
    be obscured by trees.

    9.16 North Island, surrounded by coral reefs, lies 2.5 miles NNE
    Sector 9. Islands and Banks North and East of Madagascar 143
    Pub. 171
    from the main reef; depths off its W side are about 12.8m, but
    the E side is unsurveyed. Breakers are charted 1.8 miles NNE
    of North Island and isolated depths of 2.1m lie 1 and 1.3 miles
    SSE, respectively, of the island.

    9.16 Ile Raphael (16°27'S., 59°37'E.) is a group of three islets
    visible at a distance of about 10 miles. There are fishermen’s
    huts and a meteorological station on the islets; they are situated
    in the N part of the extensive shoal.

    9.16 Siren Island lies 1.8 miles SW of Ile Raphael. Pearl Breaker
    lies 3.8 miles SSW of Siren Island.

    9.16 Pearl Island (16°33'S., 59°31'E.) lies 2.3 miles SSW of
    Pearl Breaker; it is bare of vegetation, except for a conspicuous
    clump of trees on its NE end.

    9.16 Frigate Island lies about 5.3 miles W of the extensive shoal
    area in a position 3 miles S of Pearl Island.

    9.16 Mapare Island and Avocare Island lie about 10 miles SSE
    and 9.5 miles S, respectively, of Ile Raphael. Trees grow on
    both islands and are visible from a distance. Avocare Island
    can be approached from the W by small vessels with local
    knowledge, although such approach is difficult because of numerous
    coral heads and other dangers.

    Coastal Pilot

    Massage from Team Vesta Wind:

    On Saturday 29th December 2014 at 15:21 UTC, Team Vestas Wind reported having run aground Cargados Carajos Shoals, Mauritius. No one was injured.
    The nine-man crew abandoned ship in the early hours of Sunday morning, wading through knee-deep water to a dry position on the reef. They were picked up from there at daylight by a coastguard rib and taken to the nearby Íle du Sud.

    Almost 72 hours after the accident, and as the Team make their way to Mauritius, skipper Chris Nicholson (Nico) and shore manager Neil Cox (Coxy), presently in Mauritius coordinating activities, give their take on recent events:

    Abandoning the boat

    Nico: “We knew there was shallow water on the other side of the reef in the lagoon side. The problem was that for most of the night we were on the deep water side and the boat was being beaten by those complete point break waves. Two hours before daylight, the boat leaned over heavily so I made the decision that we were getting off. We’d been practicing throughout the night how we were going to do it. We made the call and got on with the job.

    Coxy: “They were into the life rafts and literally 20 mins later, I got another phone call saying we’re all good and we’re standing on a rock…we’ve paddled a quarter of a mile or whatever away from the boat. They were able to get on a rock above the reef, a good metre and a half above sea level. Everyone was accounted for, everyone safe, so of course that’s a huge relief. The whole situation was defused, but the reality of it is, they were standing on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean”.

    Immediate concerns

    Nico: “My major concerns were obviously for the well-being of my crew, and also everyone who may actually have felt for them that night as well. Some of my first phone calls after colliding with the reef, once I let Race Control know, were asking Neil Cox to get the families informed so that they knew what was going on. During the course of things we lost all electrical supply, we lost satphone coverage, and the old snowball thing was happening. I can only imagine what was happening with the families. So that’s my immediate concern and also that we need to recover this vessel as much as we possibly can.”

    Coxy: “We have still got nine guys sitting on what is basically a sand pit out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. They are still the priority. It’s a peace of mind to know they’re all safe and doing everything they can out there with the boat right now.

    The Mauritius Coast Guard flew over the islet yesterday and air dropped food and medicine to the shipwrecked crew. There is limited electricity available on the islet via a generator that operates part of the day. We’ve got the sat phone there, that’s our main source of communication.”

    Next steps?

    Coxy: “A fishing boat will pick the guys up early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. It’s almost a day trip to get them back to Mauritius, so we’re looking at them arriving early Wednesday morning. I’m in the process right now of getting everyone’s customs clearance, getting all the bureaucracy sorted out before they get here, trying to make it as simple as possible for them. They’re stepping onto Mauritius with basically the clothing they’ve got on them.

    We’re trying to bring as much back as we can on the fishing boat so it can be reused or returned or whatever needs to be. We’ll deal with the boat after that.

    Just like any competitive or professional sport things can go wrong and they have to be dealt with as professionally as when everything is going right. I know I can speak for Nico, myself and our sponsor when I say that we want to make sure that everything is followed through 100%”.

    Limiting environmental impact

    Skipper Chris Nicholson and several others crew members have returned several times to the Vestas boat to remove as much environmentally sensitive material as possible. Given just how little they have to work with out there, the crew is demonstrating extraordinary professionalism and environmental responsibility in this regard.

    Nico: “The whole crew spent as long a time as we could retrieving diesel, oil, hydraulics, batteries, water, food, equipment etc. from the boat to limit environmental impact. It’s an absolutely stunning lagoon and bird colony that’s on these islands, and it’s just unheard of - so we are going to do our best and clean up.”

    Last edited by Photoboy; 12-02-2014 at 03:02 PM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  8. #168
    Interesting. Nice find!

  9. #169
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Vestas Wind Update

    Together with colleagues from Volvo Ocean Race, Vestas is currently evaluating if the Team Vestas Wind boat can be repaired. Based on currently available information from the crew on Íle du Sud and the aerial photograph from the Mauritius Coast Guard, it may not be possible to do so. If the conclusion is that the boat cannot be repaired, Vestas will together with Volvo Ocean Race consider all available options for Vestas to remain in the race.

    We will provide more information on the crew’s status and that of the boat when it becomes available. What we can say now, though, is that human error is at the root of the accident. We’ll learn more about the details of exactly what happened when we have a chance to properly de-brief with the crew, which we expect will happen in Abu Dhabi over the weekend.

    The crew is currently en route to Mauritius and will meet there with a representative from Vestas Headquarters who is also en route to Mauritius.

    Morten Albæk, Vestas Chief Marketing Officer comments, “Though we will not be able to compete in next leg of the Race from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, we are considering all available options for re-joining the ocean race at a later stage. Vestas is a company that has overcome great challenges in its 35 years of existence and we aim to do so again.”

    One thing is clear, though: Vestas entered the Volvo Ocean Race with the ambition to promote even bigger and more important races – the race against climate change, against energy poverty, and against water scarcity. These are all races we still must win. Regardless of an eventual decision on Vestas’ future participation in the Volvo Ocean Race, we will continue working hard to promote global action to win these global races against climate change, energy poverty, and water scarcity.


    Chris Nicholson’s stranded Team Vestas Wind crew are finally on their way back to civilisation.

    They're transiting now to the Mauritius Island, after two days sitting on a remote “sand pit” in the Indian Ocean where there was a risk of shark encounters.

    The team dramatically grounded their boat after ploughing into a reef on St Brandon archipelago on Saturday at 19 knots and were forced to abandon it in the early hours of the following day, before wading through knee-deep water to a dry position.

    They were then picked up by a coastguard boat from the nearly Íle du Sud, a near deserted islet with no communications with the outside world.

    The islet is serviced weekly by a 20-metre fishing vessel, called Eliza, from Mauritius, which is some 430 kilometres away to the south-west.

    A trip to the holiday island takes more than a day to complete.

    Australian skipper Nicholson’s nine-strong team finally are on their way after taking the ‘Eliza’ on Tuesday. From there, they plan to fly to Abu Dhabi at the end of the week.

    “We’ve had nine guys sitting on a sand pit in the middle of the Indian Ocean,” said Neil Cox, the team’s shore crew chief.

    “You’d think it’s a bad movie.

    “You sit there and talk to the coast guard and they’re telling us about everything we’re dealing with on the technical side.

    “Then they’re asking me to warn the guys that the reef is riddled full of sharks and barracuda and God knows what else.

    “They’re telling me about a fisherman they found out there who’d been basically mauled by a barracuda and there was barely much of him to deal with.”

    “You’re sitting there, going, yeah, well, next time I talk to Nico I might remind him that if they are wading out there in the reef, keep their eyes open.”
    The team will arrive in Mauritius mid-morning on Wednesday with literally the clothes they have on their backs, Cox said.

    “We want to make sure that even the simple things are covered; a clean T-shirt, undies, a toothbrush, a bit of food,” he said.

    “The coast guard here did a flyover yesterday and they parachuted in cans of Coke and chocolate and cookies.”

    “I don’t think people can totally appreciate how remote this place is. We saw there’s a coast guard out there; it’s literally a tool shed in someone’s backyard.”

    The boat is being stripped of key kit and Cox is still working out how it can be retrieved.

    He paid tribute to the crew for keeping their cool and professionalism after such a stunning collision on Leg 2.

    “Their procedure, everything was as professional and as good as it could be - you couldn’t ask for more.”

    Nicholson is a twice-Olympian who is one of the most experienced offshore sailors in the world.

    He said that a ‘mistake’ had been responsible for the collision with the reef but did not elaborate.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  10. #170
    Alvimedica is not going to receive redress after standing by all that time.

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