Adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin, 75, disappeared on Saturday January 22 while trying to row across the Atlantic.
The septuagenarian had set off on January 1 aboard the Audacieux, a canoe eight meters long, 1.70m wide, equipped with two cabins and a rowing station. Jean-Jacques Savin had embarked with 300 kilos of equipment, including freeze-dried food, a heating point, a spear gun for fishing, an electric watermaker, another manual, a Mandoline, Champagne, wine and liver fat to celebrate his birthday, January 14.
Who was Jean-Jacques Savin?
A former paratrooper, Jean-Jacques Savin is used to crazy adventures. In 2019, he had already crossed the Atlantic… in a drifting barrel. This time, the Girondin hoped to “taunt old age” by becoming the “dean of the Atlantic”. Former private pilot and curator of the national park in Africa, he was described as an “extraordinary, atypical man”, “an extraordinary adventurer”, by the mayor of his commune of Arès, Xavier Daney.
Shortly after his departure, Jean-Jacques Savin had been diverted due to bad winds, extending his journey by 900 kilometers.
On Wednesday January 19, in his logbook on Facebook, the navigator mentioned a “strong swell” as well as “the force of the wind”, which forced him to “use his manual desalinator”. “It costs me physical energy”, he had written, while emphasizing: “Rest assured, I am not in danger!”. It was then off Madeira.
During the night from Thursday to Friday, Jean-Jacques Savin had triggered his two distress beacons, indicating that he was “in great difficulty”. Then, on Saturday, his team announced that they had no longer had contact with him since 12:34 a.m. the day before (Friday).
The Portuguese Navy had quickly spotted the boat, which unfortunately returned to the ocean. For now, the exact circumstances of his death have not been established.
His body has not been found
While his team announced on Saturday that his body had been found inside the cabin, the Portuguese navy denied it on Sunday evening. “The search ended yesterday at the end of the day (Saturday) without it being possible to find the victim,” she explained.
A merchant navy ship that had first reached the position from which the distress signal had left had also indicated that the navigator “was no longer” in the boat when he approached it.
“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”, reacted the team of the septuagenarian.