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Alaska to San Diego: French Single-Hander with cat rescued

By www.ybw.com — last modified Oct 22, 2015 01:23 PM
A lone French sailor saved himself and his cat when his 30-foot yacht lost its rudder and rigging in rough waters off the coast of Alaska. This report by www.ybw.com.

Published: 2015-10-21 23:00:00
Topics: Safety and Medical
Countries: France , USA

Read full report and see video at www.ybw.com

A lone French sailor saved himself and his cat when his 30-foot yacht lost its rudder and rigging in rough waters off the coast of Alaska.

The US Coast Guard released a video of the dramatic rescue that shows Manu Wattecamps-Etienne making a leap from the rigging of his sailboat La Chimere onto the oil rig support ship, Tor Viking, that had come to his rescue.

The 28-year-old sailor kept the feline, named Pipalup according to Wattecamps-Etienne’s Facebook page, under his jacket to protect it, and both sailor and cat survived unharmed.

The incident was filmed by a C-130 Hercules Coast Guard plane monitorng the rescue some 400 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska.

Wattecamps-Etienne’s sailboat was flipped in the middle of the night by a large wave while on route from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to San Diego, and the cabin was filled with water. Wattecamps then activated an emergency locator beacon for help.

The sailor described the incident on his Facebook page, writing in French [translation provided by Facebook] “I have the sadness to announce that the chimere is lost. Last night I got [flipped] by a wave, keel in the air. The boat is finally straightened, and full of water … and the water that comes back again and again despite the pump … I give up my boat this morning, after a few capsizes more followed by a rescue …”

The Coast Guard reported 20-foot seas and 46-mile per hour wind gusts during the rescue.

Lamenting the loss, Wattecamps said, “‘Now I’m a captain without a ship. I have got nothing, my whole life was on my boat.”

The Coast Guard marked the location of the ship, and Wattecamps praised the group, saying “I want to thank sincerely all the US Coast Guards who took part in the rescue, directly or not, because they did a great job and I am still in life and in a safe condition because of that.”

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