Girondin Jean-Jacques Savin, 75, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel in 2019 before leaving on January 1 to row across it, triggered his distress beacons on Friday and his team has not since ” no more contact“, we learned on Saturday. At the end of the day his body was found “lifeless”.
The “body of Jean-Jacques was found lifeless inside the cabin of his canoe the Audacieux”, announced in a press release to AFP the team of volunteers who followed the adventure of the septuagenarian.
The “Portuguese maritime security had located yesterday (Friday) the boat unfortunately returned off the Azores. A diver was able to go down and visit the boat this Saturday”, specifies the text which adds that “the ocean this time was stronger than our friend, he who loved navigation and the sea so much”.
The team also indicates that it does not yet know “the exact circumstances of the tragedy”.
Contact lost off Madeira
The team was in particular in contact with CROSS Gris-Nez (Pas-de-Calais), in charge of rescue at sea for French sailors.
According to the communication manager of the volunteer team, Jean-Jacques Savin was at the time of the last contacts, offshore, north of Madeira and was on his way to the small island of Ponta Delgada, in the Azores archipelago, to fix.
After being rerouted due to bad winds and having considerably lengthened his planned route, the septuagenarian encountered serious problems with breakdowns of electric batteries and solar collectors.
Rowing across the Atlantic
Jean-Jacques Savin, resident of Arès in the Arcachon basin, left Sagres (southern Portugal) on January 1 to try to row across the Atlantic in a canoe and become “the dean of the Atlantic”, “a way of taunting old age”.
He had celebrated his 75th birthday on January 14 aboard his “Audacieux” canoe, eight meters long, 1.70 m wide, equipped with two cabins, forward and aft, and a post. rowing, in the middle.
“I’m going on vacation to the open sea, I’m taking three months of vacation,” he said shortly before his departure.
In 2019, this former soldier had spent more than four months in a barrel-shaped boat three meters long and 2.10 m in diameter to cross the Atlantic alone, tossed about by the winds and currents.
“Not in danger!”
Because shortly after leaving Sagres (southern Portugal) on January 1, the adventurer was quickly diverted due to bad winds. His initial route had thus been extended by 900 km and then he had to encounter serious energy and communication problems.
On Wednesday, on his Facebook page, Jean-Jacques Savin mentioned the “strong swell and the force of the wind”, adding that he was obliged to “use (his) manual desalinator”. “It costs me physical energy. Don’t worry, I’m not in danger!”, He wrote.
Jean-Jacques Savin, a resident of Arès in the Arcachon basin, intended to row across the Atlantic in a canoe and become “the dean of the Atlantic”, “a way of taunting old age”.
He had celebrated his 75th birthday on January 14 aboard his canoe, eight meters long, 1.70 m wide and equipped with two cabins and a rowing station.
Adventurer at heart
On board, 300 kg of equipment, including freeze-dried food, a heating point, a spear gun for fishing, an electric desalinator and a manual, his mandolin, Champagne, Sauternes and foie gras to celebrate his birthday.
“I’m going on vacation to the open sea, I’m taking three months of vacation,” he laughed shortly before his departure.
A great sportsman and “adventurer at heart”, this former military parachutist, thin and muscular, had spent more than four months in 2019 in a barrel-shaped boat three meters long and 2.10 m in diameter. He had thus crossed the Atlantic alone, driven by the winds and currents.
This former private pilot and curator of a national park in Africa had thus joined the West Indies, which he hoped to join again by rowing.
He had signed a book, “127 days adrift, the Atlantic in a barrel”, on his adventure which had also been followed by 23,000 people on Facebook.
“I’m going to row eight hours a day, and when it blows hard, I lock myself up,” he said before starting his journey.