Solo yachtsman rescued after three days adrift at sea
updated 7:14 AM EST, Mon January 21, 2013
- Solo yachtsman rescued after three days adrift in life raft
- Cruise ship made a 60-hour detour to recover the French sailor
- Alain Delord abandoned his yacht after mast broke in rough weather
- Delord and cruise ship on way to Hobart, Australia
Hong Kong (CNN) -- A round-the-world yachtsman is on his way to dry land after spending almost three days adrift in a life raft buffeted by strong winds and rough seas off the southern coast of Australia.
Alain Delord, a French sailor, was rescued by an adventure cruise ship 500 nautical miles south west of Hobart, Tasmania late on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) told CNN.
Also read: Gold nugget worth $300,000 discovered in Australia
The vessel, the MV Orion, made a 60-hour detour to respond to the distress signal and its captain said the rescue took place in "scary" weather conditions, with poor visibility and waves that swelled up to 3.5 meters.
"We were probably only half a mile away when we saw the raft," Captain Mike Taylor told ABC Radio.
Alain Delord's life raft is pictured adrift in seas south of Australia and shortly before his rescue by the cruise ship Orion
Residents, vacationers flee fire zone
Plane passengers spot missing yacht
Air Canada flight finds stranded yacht
"I mean it was just swallowed up in the long ocean swells. You'd see it bob to the top and then disappear."
Delord, an experienced sailor, had abandoned his yacht on Friday after the mast snapped and the hull sustained damage during his round-the-world journey.
According to his Facebook page, Delord embarked on his solo voyage at the end of October.
Taylor said the yachtsman was doing better-than-expected after spending two nights in a life raft "the size of a small car".
"When I saw him, he was under the doctor's care, he looked pretty much overwhelmed. He'd probably been in fear of his life for two days."
"He was very glad to be here and I'm pretty sure he'll be fine going forward. No major injuries."
While the Orion made its way toward Delord's life raft, aircraft dropped food, communication equipment and other supplies. His location was considered too remote for a helicopter rescue.
Despite the departure from their itinerary, passengers on board the Antarctic cruise gave "a cheer that ran the length of the ship" when the sailor was rescued, Taylor said.
Photographs posted on Orion Expedition Cruises' Facebook page showed a frail-looking Delord meeting expedition leaders.
The cruise ship is due to arrive in Hobart around 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET Monday).
Jo Meehan, spokesperson for AMSA, said that the Orion's crew had displayed exemplary seamanship and had put Delord's safety "ahead of their commercial interests."
"They deserve the highest praise for adhering to the law of the sea," she said.
Also read: Lights out down under: Your photos from Australia's total solar eclipse
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.