A shipwrecked crew have been rescued from shark-inhabited waters during the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race.
The nine-man Team Vestas Wind crew were stranded after crashing on a remote coral reef, before being picked up by a coastguard boat and taken to Mauritius.
Shore crew chief Neil Cox, said: "We've had nine guys sitting on a sand pit in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
"The coastguard was asking me to warn the guys that the reef is riddled full of sharks and barracuda."
The seven-strong fleet was making its way from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi - the second stage of the nine-leg race. The leading teams are due to complete the 5,185 nautical mile route and arrive in the United Arab Emirates capital around 13 December.
The team, skippered by Australian Chris Nicholson, 45, will try to rescue their damaged boat and re-join the nine-month global race - possibly in time for the start of stage four in Sanya, China, in February 2015.
Nicholson said: "I'm really disappointed. On the other hand, we have to realise how fortunate we are.
"It's clear that human error is responsible for the shipwreck, there's no avoiding that. And as skipper, I take ultimate responsibility.
"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."
|About the Volvo Ocean Race|
|The global event takes nine months to complete and covers 38,739 nautical miles||One nautical mile is equal to 1.15 land miles and is used for navigating and charting|
|The race is regarded as crewed sailing's toughest test||The event was previously called the Whitbread Round the World Race|
|Read more about the race|
The 65-foot boat crashed on Saturday and was left with a badly damaged stern. The crew had to wade through knee deep water to a dry position on the reef and wait until Sunday morning.
The local coastguard took them to a small deserted islet called Ile du Sud, popular with shark-watching day-tourists, but with no lines of communication to the outside world.
A weekly fishing vessel which navigates the 430km, day-long trip from Mauritius to the islet, completed the rescue.