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French Sailboat’s Sad Journey

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French Sailboat’s Sad Journey

Near Ólafsvík

Archive photo. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Southerly winds in recent weeks explain the incredible journey of the sailboat Red Héol, whose debris was found on the southwest shore of Iceland, east of Grindavík on Wednesday, RÚV reports. The boat likely broke into pieces when it landed on a nearby wall of rocks. Wednesday morning the Icelandic Coast Guard received a signal from the boat’s emergency transmitter, which activates as soon as it lands in water.

The sailboat left harbor in Porto, Portugal, bound for the Azores, on July 7. A few days later, the owner’s relatives reported it missing, and a search was conducted until August 18, when the boat was considered lost.

Auðunn Friðrik Kristinsson, a project manager for the Icelandic Coast Guard, stated, “A cargo ship spotted the boat on August 28, about 1,000 miles south-southwest of Reykjanes peninsula. But they were unable to inspect it, due to weather, but we have pictures from the site, and there it sails with torn sails, and is clearly not being controlled.” That location was 750 nautical miles east of Newfoundland. The photo, published by Le Télégramme, can be seen here.

The sailboat’s captain was alone onboard. His name as Joseph Le Geoff, described by French media as an experienced captain. Le Télégramme reports he was 64, while RÚV puts his age at 63. His remains were found on the Icelandic shore on Tuesday.

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