The moment when Team Vestas strikes the reef followed by the crews' abandonment and their return in daylight caught on a harrowing video

When Chris Nicholson’s Volvo Ocean Race crew Team Vestas struck the Cargados Carajos Shoals to the north east of Mauritius the boat was doing 19 knots. The noise and the violence of the collision on the opening section of this video leaves you on no doubt about that.

In the dark and with the boat’s audio recorder clearly picking up the crews’ shock the footage makes for a harrowing video.

As the boat spins around and the waves break over the windward side, the crew try to get the situation under control as they are thrown from side to side.

Not only does this video bring home the shocking reality of going aground in the night and then having the boat break up around you, but the film shot by the on board reporter Brian Carlin but takes you to the heart of the drama and the chilling aftermath.

At the risk of sounding ghoulish (and I certainly don’t mean to), this is a must-watch video.

The debate as to how the accident happened and the various rights and wrongs will doubtless develop and continue for some time but in the meantime you have to take your hat off to the team and their sponsors for their calm, open approach and their rapid and conscientious move to clear as much as the wreckage as they could.

Vestas 2 copy

Vestas 3 copy