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French sailor off the coast of Spain spends 16 hours submerged.

According to the Spanish coastguard, a 62-year-old French sailor was saved in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain after spending 16 hours in a tiny air bubble under his overturned sailboat. According to a statement from the coast guard, Laurent Camprubi launched a flare when his vessel, the Jeanne Solo Sailor, had difficulties at around 8:30 p.m. on Monday

while it was about 14 miles (22 kilometres) from the Sisargas Islands off the coast of Spain’s northwest Galicia area. The boat was discovered inverted in the darkness by the search crew, who also discovered three helicopters and a rescue ship on the scene. In search of signs of life, a diver was dropped onto the ship’s hull and pounded on it.

From inside, Camprubi started knocking and pleading for assistance.Rescuers had to work “frantically” to keep the boat from sinking because of the choppy waves before they could get to the injured French sailor. The following day, two divers with torches swam under the boat and discovered Camprubi, who was donning a neoprene survival suit.

They had affixed buoys to the boat’s hull. The divers held out a pole for Camprubi, who grabbed it right away. According to the coast guard, “a face appeared with wide eyes.” He charged at us, and we hauled him to the surface. Camprubi, an accomplished sailor who has won numerous regattas, was airlifted to a hospital for examinations after reaching the surface.

He made it out unscathed.”I knew they were there, that they would come to my aid, and that they wouldn’t leave me. Time was of the essence; I needed to live for my family and myself, Camprubi was quoted as saying in the statement. Camprubi spent 16 hours under the boat with “only 30 centimetres (12 inches) of air,” according to the coastguard, before being rescued Tuesday about noon.

The rescue effort was described as “verging on the impossible.” The neoprene suit Camprubi was wearing, according to Juan Ferrer, chief of the Spanish coastguard’s rescue operations, kept him from developing hypothermia. The French sailor was also lauded by him for “calmly awaiting our arrival.”