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    Cruise ship rescues French sailor


    A French sailor who had spent three days adrift in a life raft in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Tasmania in Australia has been rescued.

    A cruise ship picked up Alain Delord on Sunday, said a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

    The yachtsman was attempting a solo round-the-world voyage when he ran into trouble on Friday, 500 nautical miles off Australia's island state.

    The mast on his yacht broke in rough weather forcing him to abandon it.

    The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says Australian authorities were able to drop food, water and a survival suit to the 63-year-old, but his location was too remote for a helicopter rescue.

    Mr Delord was uninjured and said to be in reasonable spirits, he adds.

    The cruise ship Orion was on its way back from the Antarctic when it answered the distress call, making a 50-hour diversion to pick him up.

    The experienced French sailor's personal website shows that he was following the route taken by the Vendee Globe race, but was not a registered competitor.

    The race, founded by French sailor Philippe Jeantot in 1989, is held every four years.

    Competitors race from France and then around the world in the seas around the Antarctic.

    It is seen as a test of human endurance.

    In 1997 Frenchman Thierry Dubois and Briton Tony Bullimore were both rescued by the Australian navy after running into trouble in the Southern Ocean during the race.

    Source: BBC News Asia

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    This is the 2nd rescue article that I have read in less than 7 days. Granted, I think it's wonderful that the cruise ships come to the rescue of those at sea. But how do you know that this is not a stow-away, pirate, "bad" person, etc.. The article last week said that they Disney ship took the folks on the ship and returned them to Florida at the end of the cruise. Made me question why I have to provide documentation to board the ship ....

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    Good point, Debbie.

    In the case of the French sailor, it seems they knew in advance who they were rescuing.

    In cases where they don't, I would hope they have some kind of security protocol in place when making rescues at sea.

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    I hear you Jan. And I agree that they must have information before they rescue folks. Don't get me wrong. I'm the first bleeding heart liberal out there. It just confuses me that rescue folks can board a cruise ship when tight security measures are supposed to be in place.

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