A solo sailer who spent 56 hours in a life raft in the
Southern Ocean after encountering rough weather has been
rescued by a cruise ship, assisted by Kiwi interpreters.
The experienced French yachtsman was several months into an
around-the-world trip when he got into trouble more than
800km off Tasmania's coast last week.
His yacht lost its mast and suffered hull damage in the rough
On Friday afternoon Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(AMSA) detected an emergency beacon activated by the sailor
500 nautical miles south west of Hobart and the cruise ship
diverted its course to begin the 60-hour journey to the life
The sailor was successfully rescued by cruise ship PV Orion
after a three-day operation involving up to five aircraft
which maintained near-continuous communication with the
sailor while the ship made its way towards the life raft,
The aircraft also made several supply drops to the sailor,
including food, water, communications equipment, additional
life rafts and a survival suit.
Two New Zealand interpreters who speak French and Mandarin
were flown to Australia to help with the rescue by gaining
specific information about the man's condition.
The sailor had minor injuries but was generally in good
health and is being taken to Hobart where he is expected to
arrive tomorrow morning.