A 62-year-old French man managed to survive 16 hours at sea, in an air bubble that formed after his boat capsized.
The 12-meter vessel, which had set sail from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, sent an emergency signal on Monday night from somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
Spanish coastguards found the boat upside down, but the tide was too rough to attempt a rescue, which meant the man had to wait until dawn.
His survival “was almost impossible,” the coast guard divers said.
The boat launched a distress call at 8:23 p.m. local time on Monday, from a distance of 26 nautical kilometers from the Sisargas Islands, near the Galicia region.
A rescue boat with 5 divers and 3 helicopters was dispatched to try to rescue the man, whose identity is still unknown.
One of the divers hung from a cable to the boat to look for signs of life, and the man responded by hitting from inside the boat.
The tide was high and the sun had already gone down, so the rescue team attached floatation balloons to the ship to prevent it from sinking and waited until morning.
The next day, two divers dove under the boat to help the sailor, who was found wearing a survival wetsuit. He was up to his knees in water.
“Each life saved is our greatest reward”
This was the rescue carried out yesterday by Maritime Rescue to the crew member of the French sailboat JEANNE SOLO SAILOR that was keeled in the sun 14 miles NNW from the Sisargas Islands. pic.twitter.com/gqobWTSoWc
— MARITIME RESCUE (@salvamentogob) August 3, 2022
The man jumped into the icy water and swam under the boat to the surface of the sea.
Vicente Cobelo, a member of the coast guard’s special operations team, said the man jumped into the water “on his own initiative.”
He was transferred to the hospital by helicopter by the rescue team.
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BBC-NEWS-SRC: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-62416674, IMPORTING DATE: 2022-08-04 23:10:05