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Concern over the fate of Jean-Jacques Savin, 75, who was rowing across the Atlantic


A French septuagenarian, who has been rowing across the Atlantic since January 1, triggered his distress beacons on Friday and his team has had “no more contact” since.

A French septuagenarian, who has been rowing across the Atlantic since January 1, triggered his distress beacons on Friday and his team has had “no more contact” since, AFP learned on Saturday. Jean-Jacques Savin, who celebrated his 75th birthday on January 14 aboard his “Audacieux” canoe, eight meters long and 1.70 m wide, had left Sagres (southern Portugal) on January 1 to become “the dean of the Atlantic”, “a way of taunting old age”. “Unfortunately, since 00:34 yesterday morning (Friday), we no longer have any contact or any demonstration from him,” his team told AFP. “Our concern is great as you can imagine,” adds the team, which specifies that the adventurer triggered “his two distress beacons indicating that we are ‘in great difficulty'”.

In a text to her friends and to AFP, Manon, the daughter of Jean-Jacques Savin, says that “we are of course very worried. Everything was immediately implemented in coordination with the French sea rescue services, Portuguese and Americans”. 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. 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.

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