Skipper of Tiny Yacht Rescued in Torres Strait

A French skipper on a solo round-the-world voyage had to abandon his tiny eight-foot yacht in a dramatic rescue in the Torres Strait off Australia.

Daniel Alary, 70, had endured a 100 day ordeal at sea in his microyacht Poisson D’Avril, a French term for ”April fool”, before he sent out an SOS call early yesterday. The solo skipper was reportedly suffering heart problems and sea sickness as he battled 3m high waves and 40 knot winds in the Coral Sea.

His tiny 2.7m boat – little bigger than a bathtub – is now adrift on the open ocean after the solo yachtsman was winched to safety by a rescue helicopter crew and flown to Thursday Island hospital for treatment.

His SOS call was picked up by French authorities in the Pacific who alerted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra.

Mr. Alary said he named his boat ”Poisson d’Avril” as a joke.

He told The Courier-Mail he was on his 100th day of his adventure when he was forced to stop after his boat had began to take on water and he began to suffer heart problems.

Mr. Alary now plans to stay on Thursday Island for three days to reflect on his journey before deciding where to go, after originally planning to head to South Africa for his journey’s next leg.

He said he had enjoyed the journey before having to call for help.

Despite the setback, he said ”c’est pas grave” or ”it’s not serious”.

The skipper was on the first leg from French Polynesia to Darwin on his round-the-world adventure.

For the full report visit www.news.com.au

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