Video of the Week II: Vendee Rescue

ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered skipper Javier Sanso was lifted off his liferaft by helicopter at 2340hrs UTC Sunday night following the capsize of his Open 60. Sanso arrived in the Azores island of Terceira at 0330hrs UTC Monday morning. He was examined by a doctor in the helicopter who did not find any signs of hypothermia and at the military base in Terceira, the Spanish sailor was further examined by doctors. At 0430hrs UTC Sanso made a call to Vendée Globe Race Direction to confirm that all is well.

On Sunday morning 3rd February at around 1049hrs UTC two distress beacons from ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, which is racing in the Vendée Globe non stop solo round the world race were triggered. The alarms were received at 1052hrs UTC.

At 1049hrs UTC the boat was positioned at 31° 59.00 N 27 26.24 W, so 500 miles west of Madeira and 360 miles south of the Azores island of Sao Miguel

Weather conditions in the area that Sanso was sailing were a NE’ly wind of 15 knots. The boat was racing upwind in a moderate trade winds swell. Prior to the incident all was reported to be well on board, only minutes before Sanso had e-mailed a daily report to Race Direction.

At 1110hrs UTC (1210hrs local time Les Sables d’Olonne, France) Vendée Globe Race Direction were alerted by Ricardo Maldonado, the manager of  ACCIONA sailing team, who informed Vendee Globe Race Direction that MRCC Madrid had received the warning that two EPIRB distress beacons (COSPAS/SARSAT) had been activated.

Immediately Race Direction in Les Sables d’Olonne, the MRCC Ponta Delgada (Azores) and CROSS Griz Nez tried to contact the IMOCA Open 60 ACCIONA but received no reply.

MRCC Ponta Delgada then requested an aerial reconnaissance of the area by plane. A C295 plane was on zone by 1630hrs UTC. On arrival they found Javier Sanso in his liferaft. Sanso made hand signals and smoke signals (smoke hand flare) next to his capsized boat.

At 1650hrs UTC this information was confirmed to Race Direction by MRCC Ponta Delgada.

At 1750hrs UTC an EH101 helicopter was dispatched from the Azores island of Terceira heading to the zone to effect the rescue of Javier Sanso and is expected to be in the area by 2300hrs UTC.

Courtesy of www.yachtingworld.com

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