A 62-year-old French sailor has been rescued in a small air bubble after surviving 16 hours in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain, the Spanish Coast Guard said on Thursday.
Laurent Camprubi set fire to his boat, the Jean Solo Cellar, at about 8:30 a.m. Monday after it ran into trouble, 14 miles (22 kilometers) from Spain’s northwestern Galicia region, the Coastguard said in a statement. was. ,
A rescue ship and three helicopters were immediately dispatched and the search team found the boat overturned in the dark.
A diver was lowered to the hull of the ship and hit it, showing signs of life. Camprubi started knocking from inside and shouted for help.
But due to rough seas, rescuers then had to work “extremely” to prevent the sinking before they could reach the aggrieved French sailor.
He attached the plows to its hull, and the next day two divers armed with torches swam to the bottom of the boat and saw Camprubi, who was wearing a neoprene survival suit. Divers extended a pole to Campruby which immediately caught him.
“A face was visible with open eyes,” the Coast Guard statement said. “He ran towards us … we dragged him to the surface.”
Once on the surface Campruby – a veteran sailor who has won several regattas – was taken by helicopter to the hospital for a check. He escaped safely.
“I knew they were there and they would save me, that they would not leave me. It was a question of time, I had to survive for myself and my family,” Camprubi said in the statement.
The Coast Guard said Camprubi was rescued around noon Tuesday, so she spent 16 hours with “just 30 centimeters (12 inches) of wind” under the boat. It described the rescue operation as “the impossible at work”.
The Spanish Coastguard’s head of rescue operations, Juan Ferrer, said the neoprene suit Camprubi was wearing prevented him from developing hypothermia.
He also praised the French sailor for “peacefully awaiting our arrival”.
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