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Rescue Drama In Southern Ocean Wastes …

  • January 22nd, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

alain-delord-rescue.jpgThe lone French yachtsman Alain Delord enjoyed a lamb shank and Australian claret on board the luxury cruise ship which plucked him out of the Southern Ocean early on Monday night, as it ferried him to a landing in Tasmania.

His yacht Tchouk Tchouk Nougat, which had been tracing a course along the lines of the Vendee Globe round-the-world ocean race, foundered with a broken mast, forcing the sailor, 63, into his life raft.

He had two nights in it, driven by high, cold winds in three-metre seas, as Australian maritime air patrols dropped him supplies and kept in touch, and shipping in the region moved to attempt his rescue.

alain-delord-rescue-2.jpgThe luxury cruise ship MV Orion, picture, 11 days into an 18 day Antarctic cruise, then heading for Macquarie Island, broke off from its course and steamed 53 hours Northward to find the drifting raft.

mv-orion.jpgDespite the rough conditions and poor visibility in fog, it located the man, positioned itself alongside and launched a rubber boat, which got him on board.

“There was a cheer you could hear right along the ship when we pulled him in …,” the ship’s master, Mike Taylor told Australian radio.

See video; picks up just as the yachtsman transfers to the ship’s Zodiac:

Alain Delord was reported to be in good spirits, a little knocked about with a few minor injuries.

alain-delord-map.jpgThe rescue site was 500 nautical miles southwest of Hobart; see map with Tasmania, and Macquarie Island, part of the Australian Antarctic Territory.

alain-delord-south-ocean.jpgThe Southern route eastwards was frequented by sailing ships, offering very strong following winds and shortened distances due to the low latitude; but the harsh conditions often enough brought ships to grief.

At least two other such rescues involving yachts have taken place in the far  regions South of Australia and New Zealand in a little over a decade.


Amy Coopes, “French yachstman says rescue a ‘miracle’”, AFP, Paris, 22.1.13.–0ySSuHJ0A?docId=CNG.57fbc89c875ff2813e5605f4ea70d382.74, (22.1.13).1

You Tube, BBCamerica24X7., (22.1.13).