A French sailor trapped under a capsized boat was rescued off Spain’s northwestern Galicia

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After Spain’s Maritime Safety and Rescue Society located the French sailboat Jeanne SOLO Sailor overturned about 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands off Spain’s northwestern Galicia region a difficult rescue operation began with participation of a rescue ship carrying five divers as well as three helicopters. The sailor trapped under boat responded to the diver’s knocks on the hull by knocking back. Two divers swam under the sailboat and found a man in water up to his knees. He was wearing a neoprene survival suit. The 62-year-old French sailor identified as Laurent Camprubi, an experienced sailor who has won several regattas, survived for 16 hours inside an air bubble. Camprubi’s body temperature was just 34.5 degrees Celsius when he was rescued and he was very dehydrated.

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The man was able to dive out of the ship on his own and reach the surface of the ocean. He was airlifted and treated at a hospital and later released without injuries. Tracking data confirmed the man had set sail Sunday from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. His survival after accident was a miracle. Spain’s maritime rescue service described the operation to save Camprubi as “verging on the impossible”. The coast guard tweeted: “Each life saved is our greatest reward.”