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6 January 2009, 03:39 pm
Contact Made With LE CAM
Jean LE CAM onboard VM Matériaux
Jean LE CAM onboard VM Matériaux

Contact has been made with Vendée Globe competitor Jean LE CAM, who sent a distress signal early this morning as his boat VM Matériaux capsized close to Cape Horn.
At 14:21 UTC, fellow competitor Vincent RIOU (FRA) on PRB arrived at the scene of VM Matériaux's capsize. RIOU reported that he found the yacht floating upside down, missing its keel bulb, but a small 'flag' was visible at one of the through-hull fittings on the bow of the upturned yacht. RIOU shouted for skipper Jean LE CAM (FRA) and heard a response from the French skipper inside the capsized boat.

The stern of VM Matériaux, where there is an emergency escape hatch, is underwater.

A Chilean naval tug has also been sent to aid the rescue effort. The tug left Puerto Williams at 12:30 UTC and is due to reach the area tomorrow morning at 06:30 UTC. The tug is equipped with a RIB and divers to assist in recovering the skipper.

LE CAM had sent a distress signal from VM Matériaux to his shore team at 01:40 UTC this morning, to inform that he was experiencing serious difficulties on board his monohull. The boat was located at 56° 17' S and 73° 46' W, or around 200 miles West of Cape Horn. At the time, the weather conditions were generating 25-knot westerly to south-westerly winds with stronger gusts. Immediately the MRCC (International Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) was alerted and RIOU and Armel LE CLÉAC'H (FRA) on Brit Air changed course to go to the zone where LE CAM was sailing.

Click here for all the news on the Vendée Globe.

Véronique Teurlay (As Amended By ISAF)
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