Cruise ship rescues French sailor off Tasmania

Ceri Roberts
Cruise ship rescues French sailor off Tasmania
Cruise ship rescues French sailor off Tasmania

The French sailor Alain Delord was rescued by the cruise ship Orion today, after spending three days adrift in a life raft off the coast of Tasmania.

BBC News reports that the yachtsman was attempting a solo round-the-world voyage, when the mast broke on his yacht on Friday, forcing him to abandon it 500 nautical miles off Tasmania.

Although authorities were able to drop food, water and a survival suit to Mr Delord, his location was too remote for helicopter rescue.

However the cruise ship Orion was on its way back from the Antarctic when it answered his distress call, and made a 50-hour diversion to pick him up.

A spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed that the 63-year-old was unhurt and in reasonable spirits. reports that the Orion was 11 days into an 18-day passenger cruise of the Antarctic and sub-antarctic when it was drafted in to the rescue as it was the only ship within 100 nautical miles to respond to the distress call.

Mr Delord, an experienced yachtsman, had been at sea since October last year, and was reportedly following the route of the Vendee Globe round-the-world ocean race.

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