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Rescue operation for solo yachtsman near Tasmania continues for third day

Sunday 20 January 2013
Overnight, aircraft crews have remained in regular communication with a solo yachtsman who abandoned his vessel and has been in a life raft south west of Tasmania for nearly 72 hours.
Media Release

Three commercial aircraft were used in last night’s operation and crews have maintained a regular communications schedule with the French native sailor.

Two of the planes had French interpreters on board to aid in communication efforts. Today, up to four aircraft will attend the scene while the cruise ship PV Orion makes its way towards the life raft, expected to arrive later this afternoon.

The sailor has been dropped food, water, communications equipment and a survival suit.

AMSA has attempted to make contact with vessels which have been identified within 100 nautical miles of the life raft, but has not been successful.

The solo sailor’s yacht was de-masted and suffered hull damage in rough weather conditions during his round the world journey. An associate of the sailor contacted AMSA early on Friday morning after the yacht had been de-masted.

After making contact with the sailor, who did not declare he was in distress at the time, AMSA advised him to head towards Hobart.

At approximately 1:00pm AEDT that afternoon, AMSA detected an emergency beacon activation from the sailor 500 nautical miles south west of Hobart.

AMSA believes the experienced sailor has been at sea for several months.

The next update will be provided when the PV Orion arrives at the life raft, expected to be later this afternoon.