Dhe Frenchman Kevin Escoffier left his ship at the Vendée Globe after an emergency call. The up to then third place in the sailing regatta sent an SOS signal about 550 nautical miles from Cape Town and reported a water ingress on board to his team, after which he could no longer be reached by phone.
The Coast Guard then contacted the Frenchman’s closest pursuer, Jean le Cam, who changed course and came to Escoffier’s aid. “Jean le Cam has arrived in the area and saw Kevin in his life raft,” reported the organizers. Le Cam was driving the engine and preparing to recover Escoffier.
As the French sports newspaper L’Equipe writes on its website, the rescue operation was unsuccessful. An engine problem prevented Le Cam from intervening. That is why the race management commissioned the German skipper Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco) and Yannick Bestaven (CoQ IV Master) to rescue Escoffier. Both were in sixth and eighth at 5 p.m.
It is still unclear whether the 61-year-old le Cam will be punished for using his engine. The Hamburger Herrmann is now in eighth place. The journey on the Vendée Globe is around 45,000 kilometers long, non-stop and around the world without assistance.