Kévin Escoffier's boat broke in two in the middle of the 40th Roaring.
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP
“Your life is worth more than our Vendée Globe”.
It is with these few words, released with a big smile that the three Vendée Globe skippers (Sébastien Simon, Yannick Estaven and Boris Herrmann) who had diverted themselves on Monday evening, to go and rescue Kévin Escoffier, learned that their colleague was finally safe.
They did not finally have to arrive on site since it was indeed Jean Le Cam who found and embarked the sailor from Saint-Malo aboard his boat, almost ten hours after the latter had triggered the distress beacon.
After a first unsuccessful attempt to retrieve him from his windswept lifeboat caught in violent hollows of several meters, Jean Le Cam finally managed to find Kévin Escoffier in the open sea, in the middle of the 40th Roaring, this area renowned for its breaking waves and terrible and oh so dangerous weather conditions.
The painting is cold in the back.
Escoffier apologizes to Le Cam
“It was at 2:18 am French time (1:18 GMT) that the PRB team was informed of the rescue.
The PRB skipper appeared smiling, bundled up in his survival suit alongside Jean Le Cam, ”tweeted the organizer, who first announced the rescue.
Indeed, in a video published Tuesday morning by the organizers of the Vendée Globe, we see Kévin Escoffier telling from the boat of Le Cam the night he has just spent.
If he appears smiling at first, we can feel all the tension that descends in the sailor's voice.
The craziest thing about it is that his first words were to apologize to his savior, who he was fighting a good battle for third place.
“We worked well with Jean.
Like I told him when he arrived "I'm sorry Jean, you're doing a crazy race and I'm sorry to screw your thing".
He told me "the last time it was the other way around, it was the PRB who got me back". "
After carrying out a rescue which will go down in the annals of the Vendée Globe, it was a tired but relieved @JeanLecam who returned to this delicate operation during a video at 5am this morning.
The full video ➡️ https://t.co/zi74uro4QF#VG2020 pic.twitter.com/IuWVyCoMsw
- Vendée Globe (@VendeeGlobe) December 1, 2020
"The boat was folded in half"
“And then, Jean-Jacques [Laurent, President of PRB], I'm sorry for the boat!
I reinforced it as best I could, the sailor continues immediately before shedding a few decompression tears.
But frankly I have zero regrets, I put 200 kg of carbon in the boat, I reinforced everything everywhere.
Oh no, but you see the films on the shipwrecks, it was the same and worse!
In four seconds the boat planted, the bow bent 90 °, I put my head in the cockpit, I just had time to send a text, the wave made everything "schinter" [bugger] electronics.
It was a crazy thing, folded a boat in half.
In the process, Jean Le Cam in turn spoke to return, with a little hindsight, that night of fear and adrenaline.
“At one point I was standing on the bridge, I see a flash.
In fact it was the light [from the lifeboat] reflecting off the waves.
An apparition !
I say to myself "it's not true what ...".
And the more I continued, the more apparitions there were.
And there you see more and more light, and you say to yourself "damn, it's good".
You go from desperation to crazy stuff.
I throw the red buoy at him and he manages to get it.
In the end we succeeded, he hooked up the transmission bar and it was won ”.
Escoffier reviews the rescue operation in detail
Madri, the PRB team has published in detail on its website the story of the sailor from Saint-Malo, which tells us more about the extent of the disaster.
"It's surreal what happened," says Kévin Escoffier.
The boat folded in on itself in a wave at 27 knots.
I heard a crack but honestly it didn't need the noise to understand.
Within seconds, there was water everywhere.
The stern of the boat was underwater and the bow pointed skyward.
The boat broke in half forward of the mast bulkhead.
He has withdrawn.
I assure you, I am not exaggerating anything ... there was a 90 ° angle between the back and the front of the boat.
I didn't have time to do anything.
I was just able to send a message to my team “I'm sinking.
This is not a joke.
“I took the bib (life raft) in the back.
The front bib was not accessible, it was already three meters below the water.
The water was in the cockpit up to the door.
I would have liked to stay a little longer on board but I could see that everything was going very quickly and then I took a wave and went into the water with the raft, continues the Malouin.
At that time, I was not at all reassured… You are in a raft with 35 knots of wind.
No, it is not reassuring.
I was only reassured when I saw Jean.
But the problem was how to get on board with him.
We said 2-3 words to each other.
It was Verdun on the water.
He was forced to move away a little then afterwards, I saw that he was staying in the zone.
I stayed in the raft until early morning (...) When I found myself on board with Jean, we fell into each other's arms.
He said to me "Damn, you're on board! It was hot!"
Vendée Globe: “Huge relief”… Skipper Kevin Escoffier rescued by his competitor Jean Le Cam
Vendée Globe: Kevin Escoffier triggers his distress beacon for a major waterway
Jean the cam