July 1, 2022

Jean-Jacques Savin: his body has not been found, denies the Portuguese navy

DISAPPEARANCE – Contrary to what had been announced the day before by his team, the body of Frenchman Jean-Jacques Savin, a septuagenarian adventurer who was trying to cross the Atlantic by rowing, was not found on board his canoe. announced Sunday, January 23 the Portuguese Navy.

“The search ended yesterday at the end of the day (Saturday) without it being possible to find the victim” whose boat was found off the Azores archipelago, the Lusitanian navy said in a press release. .

“There have been confusions”

The day before, the entourage of the 75-year-old navigator, who had made himself known by crossing the Atlantic in a barrel in 2019, had reported that his body had been “found lifeless” inside his boat from the cabin of the canoe L’Audacieux.

Questioned Sunday evening by AFP, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese navy explained that during the rescue operation the rescuers had “strong reasons to believe that a body could be inside” .

“There have been confusions which we are currently seeking to clear up. We don’t know any more. We are awaiting information from the Portuguese authorities,” the adventurer’s team told AFP in France.

The adventurer said he was “in great difficulty”

“Unfortunately, since 12:34 a.m. yesterday morning (Friday), we have no longer had any contact or any demonstration on his part,” members of his team told AFP on Saturday morning. According to them, he had triggered his two distress beacons, “indicating to be ‘in great difficulty'”.

The septuagenarian’s canoe was found upside down, as evidenced by a photo released by the Portuguese navy where we see the hull of the boat floating on the surface, then hoisted aboard one of its corvettes.

The first merchant navy vessel to reach the position from which the alert originated “reported seeing the boat and the navigator in the early hours of Friday January 21, but when he approached the boat he indicated that the man was no longer there”.

“One of the merchant ships collected a waterproof bag which contained the navigator’s identification documents inside,” said the Portuguese Navy. During the last contacts, Jean-Jacques Savin was north of Madeira, offshore, and was on his way to the island of Ponta Delgada, in the Azores archipelago, to repair.

Because shortly after his departure from Sagres (southern Portugal) on January 1, this great sportsman 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.

“Taunting old age”

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. Rest assured, I am not in danger!”, he wrote.

Living in Arès, in the Arcachon basin, in the south-west of France, he intended to row across the Atlantic 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. “I’m going on vacation to the open sea, I’m taking three months of vacation,” he laughed shortly before his departure.

In 2019, this slim and muscular former paratrooper had spent more than four months 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.

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