French solo yachtsman Loïc Lepage was successfully transferred from his dismasted yacht Laaland by the Japanese bulk carrier Shiosai at 00:53 UTC yesterday.
Lepage, who was competing in the Golden Globe Race on his Nicholson 32, had set off the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on October 20 when the combination of the rigging failure and resultant water ingress posed to a high a risk to proceed.
The rescue, which took place in the South Indian Ocean some 670 miles SW of Perth Western Australia, commenced shortly after first light (local time) once the Australian P-8A search and rescue plane was overhead. Members of the Shiosai crew were lowered down in the ship’s recovery vessel, and though the rolling swell presented a few challenges, Lepage was plucked from his yacht and successfully transferred to the ship.
The 2018 Golden Globe Race started for 17 skippers from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday July 1, 2018, with the inaugural solo non-stop around the world yacht race expected to take 9-10 months to complete.