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Frenchman Survives in Atlantic Ocean Waters for 16 Hours

Frenchman Survives in Atlantic Ocean Waters for 16 Hours

Saturday, 6 August, 2022 - 08:45
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers search for the missing divers during the search and rescue operation off the Mersing coast, Johor, Malaysia, April 8, 2022. (Reuters)

A 62-year-old Frenchman survived for 16 hours in an air bubble inside his capsized sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued in an operation described as "verging on the impossible".

According to Sky News, the 40ft Jeanne SOLO Sailor sent out a distress signal at 20.23 on Monday from 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands off Spain's northwestern Galicia region, the coast guard said.

A rescue ship carrying five divers set sail to rescue the man, who has not been named, as one of three helicopters sent to aid the search located the upturned vessel as the sun went down.

The man responded to divers seeking signs of life by banging on the hull from the inside.

However, at the time the sea was too rough to attempt a rescue, so the team attached buoyancy balloons to the ship's hull to prevent it from sinking further and waited until the morning.

The man was found under the boat wearing a neoprene survival suit submerged in water up to his knees, as two divers swam under to help him out. He was airlifted to safety and taken to hospital for checks but released soon afterwards with no issues.

Tracking data had shown the Jeanne SOLO Sailor had set sail from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon on the morning of the previous day.

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