WATCH: Sailor rescued from sinking boat 90 miles from NJ coast
A French sailor's attempt to make a solo journey from New York to the United Kingdom was cut short early Monday when his boat began sinking, prompting the Coast Guard to rescue the man just off the Atlantic City coast.
According to the U.C. Coast Guard, Olivier Jehl was about 90 miles from Atlantic City when his 21-foot sailboat, Solidaires, struck a submerged object and began sinking. As the vessel became submerged in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Jehl deployed an emergency raft, the Coast Guard said in a statement Monday.
As the sailboat sank, the captain alerted the Coast Guard to his position using a device known as an emergency position-indicating radio beacon. The EPIRB also let the nearest Coast Guard station know that his vessel was in distress. Jehl then deployed flares to make it easier for rescue crews to spot him in the choppy waters, the Coast Guard said.
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was the first to launch a search for Jehl. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station in Atlantic City then arrived at approximately 4:40 a.m.
A dramatic video released by the Coast Guard shows rescue crews hoisting Jehl into the waiting aircraft and transporting him to the Coast Guard's Air Station Atlantic City.
"This case was a perfect example of how to be prepared for the worst case scenario," said Capt. Peter Mingo, the commanding officer of Air Station Atlantic City. "Personal beacons, life rafts, exposure suits and flares were the key to Mr. Jehl being able to effect his own rescue via the U.S. Coast Guard."
The Coast Guard said in a press release that Jehl did not suffer any injuries to their knowledge.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.