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Prince de Bretagne- Rescue underway - but will take five days

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz on 29 Jan 2014
Prince de Bretagne now the subject of a recovery operation off Brazil © Marcel Mochet

After the capsize of the 80ft trimaran Prince de Bretagne off Brazil, the recovery of solo sailor, Lionel Lemonchois and the Maxi80, is underway. She capsized in 16-18 kt winds and conditions in the area are believed to be good.

The support team of Prince de Bretagne, have studied all the possible options, and have already implemented various rescue and recovery operations, starting with the mobilisation of a crew of four (Frédéric Le Peutrec, Patrice Richardot Gurloës Merrien and Quentin Moneigier) who will fly to Rio de Janeiro, where they are expected to arrive at 7 am local time tomorrow morning.

At that time, two others (Helfer and Guillaume Didier Le Vourc'h) take off, heading for South America to lend a hand on site.

In addition, two local coordinators are already hard at work to prepare the necessary equipment for the rescue and recovery. They are hoping to organise towing the trimaran in coordination with Arnaud Aubry, remained has remained at the team base in at Lorient.

The Lorient base is in constant contact with Lionel Lemonchois, who is in the centrehull of the upturned trimaran, 800nm off the Brazilian coast. The 80fter, being sailed singlehanded in a record attempt between Port-Louis in France and Port-Louis in Mauritius, capsized yesterday between 3:30 p.m. ET 16h.

' The trimaran is secure, the central hull is not damaged and there is no risk of dislocation. I have with me the Iridium rescue boat and easy access to food and water. Same as regards the BIB (liferaft) if I were to need it, ' said Lemonchois.

He says his his hand injury is not that serious. The upturned boat is drifting 25 to 30nm a day in the direction of Salvador de Bahia. The sea was calm and it was raining heavily.

Leomonchois, a double winner of the Route du Rhum is preparing for a long wait as the tug chartered by the team will not be in the rescue zone for at least five days.

(Re-written from a Google translation of the French media release)
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