French man, 62, survives 16 hours in capsized... | Pegars

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French man, 62, survives 16 hours in capsized…

 Pic: Salvamento Maritimo

A 62-year-old French man survived for 16 in an air bubble inside his capsized sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued in an described as “verging on the impossible”.

The 40ft Jeanne SOLO Sailor sent out a signal at 20.23 on Monday from 14 from the Sisargas Islands off ’s northwestern Galicia region, the guard said.

A rescue ship carrying five divers set sail to rescue the man, who has not been named, as one of three helicopters sent to aid the located the upturned vessel as the sun went down.

The man responded to divers seeking signs of life by banging on the hull from the inside.

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Pic: Salvamento Maritimo

However at the time the sea was too rough to attempt a rescue, so the team attached buoyancy balloons to the ship’s hull to prevent it from sinking further and waited until the morning.

The man was found under the boat a neoprene survival suit submerged in up to his knees, as two divers swam under to help him out.

He was airlifted to safety and taken to hospital for checks but soon afterwards with no issues.

Vicente Cobelo, a member of the coastguard’s special operations team, told a station the man voluntarily into the freezing water and swam under the boat to reach the sea’s surface.

He said: “Of his own initiative, he got into the water and free dived out, by the divers who had to pull him through because it was difficult for him to get out in his suit”.

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Tracking data had shown the Jeanne SOLO Sailor had set sail from the Portuguese of on the morning of the day.

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