Frenchman and his cat make daring leap to safety from storm-tossed sailboat In this frame from video provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Frenchman with his cat tucked inside his clothing, at right, stands on his sailboat before making a leap Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, jumping to a waiting rescue ship, left, south of Alaska. The video shows the Frenchman on the rigging pole near the bow of his sailboat, riding wave after wave until making a dramatic leap over the railing of the Tor Viking. (Coast Guard via AP)
Frenchman and his cat make daring leap to safety from storm-tossed sailboat
Lexile

A Frenchman with his cat tucked inside his clothing made a daring leap of faith when he jumped to a waiting rescue ship from his sailboat, which was being battered by high seas south of Alaska.
 
The Coast Guard captured the dramatic video from a C-130 Hercules airplane monitoring the Oct. 20 rescue. The man's identity hasn't been released, but Petty Officer Lauren Steenson in Kodiak said the sailboat was named La Chimere.
 
The man activated a location beacon Oct. 20 about 400 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska. The C-130 was dispatched to assess the situation.
 
The airplane crew made radio contact with the mariner, who reported his 30-foot sailboat lost its rudder and rigging in heavy seas and 46-mph winds.
 
"With the 20-foot seas, his boat is getting pretty well thrown around," she said.
 
He had no control and the boat was "pretty much dead in the water," adrift in high seas.
 
The Coast Guard made contact with the Polar Pioneer, which is an oil drilling vessel used by Royal Dutch Shell off Alaska's northwest coast this summer. The ship and support vessels were nearby as they make their way back to Port Angeles, Washington.
 
The Polar Pioneer sent a support ship, the Tor Viking, to rescue the sailor.
 
Video shot by the Coast Guard shows the Frenchman on the rigging pole near the bow of his sailboat, riding wave after wave until making a dramatic leap over the railing of the Tor Viking.
 
The video shows the man disappearing behind the railing head first with his legs last to disappear behind the Tor Viking's railing. After a few seconds, a crewmember of the Tor Viking is seen walking toward the man, who then stands up.
 
Steenson said the pilot of the C-130 told her the sailor placed his cat inside either his sweater or coat before making the leap.
 
Once the man was safely aboard the Tor Viking, the Coast Guard marked the position of the sailboat for future reference.
 
It wasn't immediately clear if the man would continue with the Shell ships to Washington State.
 
The sailboat left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Oct. 13, headed to Vancouver. Steenson said reports didn't indicate if his final destination was Vancouver in Washington or British Columbia.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why didn't the airplane rescue the sailor?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (26)
  • mattheww-day
    10/30/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    The airplane did not rescue the people for many reasons. The plane is not able to land in the water to pick up people. The plane also cannot stop in time to pick them up. The plane is also only able to give supplies for the people.

  • abigailh-lam
    11/02/2015 - 11:43 a.m.

    I think the airplane did not rescue the sailor because the sailor wouldn't be able to find/reach the ladder they would throw down for him. I wish the story included a bit more about if the sailor and his cat got hurt or not, and I would've liked to hear a bit of it from the sailor's perspective (not the cat's!)

  • charlottep-lam
    11/02/2015 - 01:40 p.m.

    What an odd experience! I wonder how the cat felt! Cant believe this story.

  • jasminec-6-bar
    11/06/2015 - 02:48 a.m.

    The airplane could not rescue the sailor and his cat from his sailboat, "La Chimere," because of the treachorous weather conditions, "With the 20 foot seas, his boat was getting well thrown around there" said petty officer Lauren Steenson in Kodiak and the area was also said to be having "46-mph winds." and in addition to the horrendous weather the 30 foot sailboat had lost it's rigging and rudder.

    I found this article to be absurd, why in the world would any person sail with a cat, don't they despise water, other than that I enjoyed reading the ending of the article because of it's outcome.

  • noahi-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:11 p.m.

    Because a plane is not a good vehicle for sea rescue

  • mattv-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:16 p.m.

    I don't think the plane was even able to save the sailor because the plane may have not been built for landing on the water, unlike other types of planes. It might have not even had room on board to help.

  • garretta-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:18 p.m.

    The airplane did not rescue the sailor because the plane couldn't land in water.

  • ethanb-1-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:19 p.m.

    The airplane did not rescue the sailor because the plane could not land on water and even so the 46 mph winds would rip the plane to shreds.

  • travisb-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    The airplane didn't rescue the sailor because there was high winds and tide, and the helicopter can't get down that low or it might sink.

  • kyleighp-fel
    11/11/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    The airplane didn't rescue the sailor because ariel rescue from the water is difficult and risky

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