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. The vessel 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.  He 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.  It 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.  He was 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. It was 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 (5)
  • taylorl-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 06:11 p.m.

    The airplane did not rescue the sailor because the waves in the sea were too high. They were able to get the Tor Viking to make the rescue safer. Once the rescue ship arrived the Frenchman put his cat in his coat and jumped from the bow of his sailboat to the railing of the Tor Viking which was when their crew helped him stand. I chose this article because joining the Coast Guard is an interest of mine.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/29/2015 - 09:07 p.m.

    I think that it was amazing that the Frenchman was rescued from the seas of Alaska. He took whatever he had and jumped boldly onto the rescue ship that was waiting for him. Petty Officer Lauren Steenson in Kodiak said the sailboat was named La Chimere. I think that the Frenchman was very lucky that he was saved. A Coast Guard on an airplane had videotaped the whole scene of the man being rescued. The man had let some people know about his situation and they had contacted the rescuers. The man couldn't do anything because the boat was broken and it was being tossed around by the ocean.

  • John0724-YYCA
    10/29/2015 - 09:45 p.m.

    I think that they should have known where the final destination was because if they didn't then they would have not know where the man made it or not. I think they should have known it before.

  • lukem-lam
    11/02/2015 - 11:49 a.m.

    I liked the article and how the man managed to survive in the storm and bring his cat with him. It was odd how he landed in Vancouver as his final destination. It was a shock how he survived and brought his cat through the journey.

  • tyn-2-bar
    11/03/2015 - 10:27 p.m.

    The air plane didn't save the man because it says here that "The C-130 was dispatched to assess the situation." That means it was sent to overview the situation. Personally this is the kind of thing that happens in my dreams accept I fall and die. I think what this man did was very brave especially because he also saved his cat while doing it.

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