A 62-year-old French sailor survived a shipwreck for 16 hours thanks to an air bubble that formed inside his sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean, before being rescued by coast guard divers. Spanish.
“The accident happened in 15 seconds, in 15 seconds I was sailing and, suddenly, my boat capsized,” explained Laurent Camprubi in an interview with EFE.
Immediately, this expert dispatcher sent a distress signal at 8:23 pm last Monday after dispatching from Lisbon, Portugal, on the morning of Sunday, July 31.
After an intensive search, the Spanish Maritime Rescue and Safety Association managed to find the sailboat Jeanne SOLO Sailor, 40ftwhich passed about 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands, off the northwestern region of Galicia in Malpica.
“I thought: ‘They know I’m here and they’re going to save me.’ The problem is that I could not get out of the boat, which was full of water, and I only had 30 or 40 centimeters of air”, he explained.
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“The second time (the helicopter disappeared) I tried again, but I couldn’t. Third time, too. Then I realized that I had to live at night there, but there were many waves and very little space to live, but I had to live for my family. And I knew I had great guys – meaning the rescue team – who were going to do a great job,” he continues.
The sea conditions did not allow access for the divers, but the efforts did not stop until noon last Tuesday, 16 hours later, when they managed to enter the ship from below and rescued its only crew member alive.
It was a “very special moment” and his savior said to him: “I was afraid you wouldn’t live”, and he replied: “And I, wouldn’t you come to me”, and they both laughed.
Despite the tense times he lived in, Laurent Camprubi “I always kept calm. The situation was difficult because he was holding on, huddled, with half his body out of the water so he wouldn’t get too cold. I had to resist,” he said.
Despite the fact that his intelligence almost cost him his life, the man assured him that he will continue to enter the sea, but with a little more care. “I’m going to change my ways, I’m going to protect my family. I’m not going to continue the Atlantic crossings,” he said.