French sailor survives 16 hours below capsized boat off Spain

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French sailor Laurent Camprubi (R) posing for pictures with head of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Finisterre Manuel Capeans on a dock next to his capsized Jeanne Solo Sailor sailboat, in the Galicia region, north-western Spain. — AFP
French sailor Laurent Camprubi (R) posing for footage with head of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Finisterre Manuel Capeans on a dock subsequent to his capsized Jeanne Solo Sailor sailboat, within the Galicia area, north-western Spain. — AFP

MADRID: A 62-year-old French sailor has been rescued within the Atlantic Ocean off Spain after surviving for 16 hours in a tiny air bubble below his capsized sailboat, the Spanish coastguard stated Thursday.

Laurent Camprubi fired a flare after his boat, the Jeanne Solo Sailor, bumped into hassle at round 8:30pm on Monday when it was 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Sisargas Islands off Spain’s northwestern Galicia area, the coastguard stated in an announcement.

A rescue ship and three helicopters had been instantly dispatched and the search group discovered the boat overturned within the darkness.

A diver was lowered onto the ship’s hull and banged on it, searching for indicators of life. Camprubi started knocking from inside and crying out for assist.

However as a result of tough seas, rescuers then needed to work “frantically” to cease the boat from sinking earlier than they might attain the stricken French sailor.

They hooked up buoys to its hull, and the next day two divers geared up with torches swam below the boat and noticed Camprubi, who was sporting a neoprene survival go well with. The divers prolonged a pole to Camprubi who instantly grabbed it.

“A face appeared with the eyes open,” the coastguard assertion stated. “He rushed in the direction of us… we pulled him to the floor.”

As soon as on the floor Camprubi — an skilled sailor who has received a number of regattas — was airlifted to hospital by helicopter for checks. He escaped unhurt.

“I knew that they had been there and that they might rescue me, that they might not abandon me. It was a query of time, I needed to survive for me and my household,” Camprubi was quoted as saying within the assertion.

The coastguard stated Camprubi was rescued at round midday on Tuesday, so he spent 16 hours below the boat with “simply 30 centimetres (12 inches) of air”. It described the rescue operation as “verging on the not possible”.

Juan Ferrer, head of the Spanish coastguard’s rescue operations, stated the neoprene go well with Camprubi was sporting prevented him from getting hypothermia.

He additionally praised the French sailor for “calmly awaiting our arrival”.

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