Newspapers in Australia are reporting that a cruise ship is on its way to rescue a round-the-world sailor whose sailboat was de-masted, forcing him to abandon ship into a life raft in remote waters southwest of Tasmania.
The Brisbane Times states that French yachtsman Alain Delord was attempting a sail around the world but became stranded at sea after his sailing yacht was damaged in rough seas. A cruise ship, Orion, diverted its course for Antarctica to assist in the rescue.
The 63 year old sailor was skippering the 10.6 meter sailboat named the Tchouk Tchouk Noguat. Delord is an experienced mariner, having reportedly completed 17 trans-Atlantic voyages. He has been at sea for several months.
He keeps a blog about his adventures and last noted that he was plotting a course through severe winds measuring 40 knots and 10 meter seas. He was wearing survival gear when he entered the life raft.
The Orion cruise ship should be at the location of the distress beacon tonight. The emergency beacon was activated yesterday, 500 nautical miles southwest of Hobart.
A French sailing magazine Mon Voile interviewed Mr. Delord in October and discussed his preparations for the trip, the reinforcement of the mast and the steps to be taken in the event of a de-masting.
Let's hope and pray that this turns out well for the Frenchman.
January 20 2013 Update: Success! The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Delord is safely aboard the Orion. His first meal? "French onion soup, proceeded by a nice fresh green salad and lamb shank with a nice glass of red."
Photo credit: Mon Voile Mag