Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

French yachtsman lifted from liferaft in Southern Ocean

by Peter Campbell on 21 Jan 2013
Orion entering harbour during previous voyage Peter Campbell
After three days drifting in a life raft in the Southern Ocean south of Tasmania, French round-the-world solo sailor Alain Delord has been rescued by a Zodiac crew from the Antarctic cruise ship Orion.

Delord set off a distress beacon on Friday after his 11-metre yacht, Tchouk Tchouk Nougaton, was dismasted in bad weather, 500 nautical miles off Tasmania's south-west coast. The jagged end of the rig then apparently holed the hull.

The 63-year-old abandoned ship and took to the Southern Ocean in his life raft, his distress signal being picked up by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the cruise ship PV Orion.

The Orion, which was scheduled to visit Macquarie Island as part of an Antarctic expedition, made a 50-hour diversion to come to the Frenchman's aid, rescuing him Delord about 9:30pm (AEDT) last night.

AMSA coordinated the rescue and said Mr Delord 'was recovered safely and without injury'.

'He is currently receiving medical attention and early indications are that he is healthy,' an AMSA statement said. 'Weather conditions were better than expected and there was plenty of light in the area.'

This morning the Orion’s captain, Mike Taylor told ABC News Breakfast: 'Following the initial distress AMSA found him with a plane and then set up a relay so that they had somebody overhead pretty much all the time.

'The raft he was in from the yacht was pretty small and he didn't have any food or water, and he just had a marine band radio, which the battery died on after a day.

'So they dropped him another raft with food and water, and also with an aviation band radio so he was able to talk to an interpreter in the plane.

'When we got up to him - I mean, conditions were pretty bad. We had 25 knots of wind from the north-west.

'There was a long swell from the south-west, you know, probably about 3.5m to 4m, and the cloud ceiling was probably only 500 feet.

'We couldn't have done it without guidance from the planes.'

In a statement on Facebook, Orion expedition leader Don McIntyre said that when the ship reached the area he was ' amazed to see the raft just 20 metres from us, sitting in calm water in the lee of the ship with Alain waving.'

McIntyre, a widely experience round-the-world sailor himself who lives in southern Tasmania, said he gave the go-ahead for the Zodiac to drop into the water and intercept the life raft.

'The raft was drifting to the bow as the ship was being pushed by the 30kt wind ... the Zodiac ripped past, they grabbed him and pulled Alain into the Zodiac; then Steve, the driver, quickly brought the bow of the Zodiac to the side gate (of the Orion), all the while water lapping at the entrance and some coming below,' he said.

'I passed the hauling line over and we attached it to Alain's harness and hauled him into the side of the ship ... then the recovery team took him from behind us and moved him to the hospital where the doctor and [expedition leader] Margie [McIntyre] were waiting.'

The ship is now on its way to Hobart.

Video: AMSA spokeswoman Jo Meehan discusses Alain Delord's rescue from the Southern Ocean. (Facebook: Orion Expedition Cruises) (ABC News)
InSunSport - NZSouthern Spars - 100Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

Tornado Europeans – Tough fight on Day 3
Two difficult races today in Cesenatico! The very light wind from northeast – east was shifty and current was decisive! 2016 Tornado Europeans - Two difficult races today in Cesenatico! The very light wind from northeast – east was shifty and the current was decisive!
Posted today at 11:33 am
Could blistering progress slow as fleet prepares to head north
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. 30 knots of wind from the south-southwest, sun, and current has seen teams blast reaching and reporting record runs of approximately 300NM VMG in the past 24 hours, but that could end today as teams approach the edge of the Ice Box and prepare to head north into the light winds of the Azores High.
Posted today at 11:15 am
RORC IRC Nationals - Round two FAST40+ Race Circuit - Day 1
Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for Second Round of FAST40+ Circuit, held at RORC IRC Nationals. 2016 RORC IRC National Championship - Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for the Second Round of the FAST40+ Circuit, held at the RORC IRC National Championship. Invictus showed impressive downwind speed to lead the class after three races but a problem in the last race cost Invictus the overnight lead. Seven of the eleven Fast40+ fleet made the podium on the first day.
Posted today at 6:36 am
RORC IRC National Championship - Mike Greville in action
61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today RORC IRC National Championship - 61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today initially with sub-10 knot conditions. However by the time the fourth and final race was held, the breeze had built to 20+ knots in the gusts. This, combined with a short, sharp chop kicked up by a building flood tide, led to numerous wipe-outs.
Posted today at 6:04 am
470 Junior Worlds - Don't get stressed!
Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at the third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship at the Kiel Week. 'It wasn't easy today', said race director Fabian Bach, since the classes could only be started in shifts on the inner race courses due to a thunderstorm warning.
Posted today at 5:41 am
2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Action will begin on Friday
Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay 2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay to compete sixth Bacardi Newport Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG.
Posted today at 5:00 am
Superyacht Cup - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:14 am
Superyacht Cup - More spectacular sailing on Day 2 at Palma
The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation as last night's après-race partying went on long after the sails had been packed away. Apart from a lively atmosphere and full dance floor, this year's '20 Years of Rock' theme showed some sailors' hidden talents of playing air guitar and being able to rock back-combed hair
Posted today at 3:57 am
2016 German Open Championship/Nepomuk Cup kicks off this weekend
The commencement of the 2016 Melges 20 German Open held in conjunction with the Nepomuk Cup is just hours away. The commencement of the 2016 Melges 20 German Open held in conjunction with the Nepomuk Cup is just hours away. Two great days of top competition are scheduled and hosted by long-time yacht club partner - the Bayerisher Yacht Club (BYC) in Starnberg See, Munchen, Germany.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Oman Air revel in Cardiff breeze to extend lead
Oman Air kept up a steady pace despite high winds and sudden gusts to extend their lead on the second day 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - Oman Air kept up a steady pace despite high winds and sudden gusts to extend their lead on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff.
Posted today at 2:58 am