Crew of Team Vestas Wind arrives safely in Mauritius
Published on December 3rd, 2014
The nine-member crew of Team Vestas Wind, led by Skipper Chris Nicholson, has arrived safely in Mauritius, following a 20-hour journey by fishing boat from the tiny islet of Ilé de Sud where they have been since being rescued from the rocks of a small reef on November 30. Accident details here.
In the days following the rescue, Skipper Chris Nicholson and other crew members have returned several times to the Vestas boat to remove as much environmentally sensitive material as possible, including fuel, lubricants, hydraulics, batteries, and other equipment. Given how little they had to work with, the crew demonstrated extraordinary professionalism and environmental responsibility in this regard.
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 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.
Upon arrival in Mauritius, Skipper Chris Nicholson says, “The past four days have been very challenging for all of us, and I am extremely proud of the whole crew’s professionalism, composure, and endurance. It’s clear that human error is responsible for the shipwreck, there’s no avoiding that. And as skipper, I take ultimate responsibility.”
Vestas Chief Marketing Officer Morten Albæk will meet with the crew in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, after which Vestas and Volvo Ocean Race will have more to say about the details of the accident.
Albæk notes, “While we are deeply disappointed that we will not be able to compete in the next leg of the Race, we are grateful that the crew is safe and very proud indeed of the high professionalism and true character they have shown. I look forward to meeting with the crew in person in Abu Dhabi to learn more in depth what led to the accident.” Albæk continues, “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.”
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 Vestas and humanity 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 races against climate change, energy poverty, and water scarcity.
Report by Team Vestas Wind. Photos by Marc Bow / Volvo Ocean Race.