A 75-year-old French man who set out to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in a specialized rowboat has gone missing after activating two distress signals, according to his team.
Jean-Jacques Savin departed from southwest Portugal on Jan. 1, 2022, with the aim of eventually traveling to the Caribbean in about 100 days. Savin in 2019 successfully crossed the Atlantic in an orange barrel-shaped capsule, making the 2,930-mile journey from Spain’s Canary Islands to the Caribbean in 122 days.
In a Facebook post, Savin’s daughter, Manon Savin, said he activated two distress beacons on Thursday night and Friday indicating he was experiencing a “situation of very great difficulty.”
Savin’s boat was later found by Portuguese authorities overturned near the coast of the archipelago of the Azores Friday.
The team initially said Savin was found dead inside the capsule of the boat, but on Sunday, a message from his daughter clarified that his body had not been recovered from the vessel.
In a Facebook post published days before the distress signals were sent, Savin said a solar power device used to recharge his water desalinator battery was no longer working, and he was forced to use a manual device that “costs me physical energy.”
“Rest assured, I’m not in danger!” Savin wrote.
Savin celebrated his 75th birthday during the journey on Jan. 14. He would have become the oldest person to row across the Atlantic alone if he completed the trip, according to The Washington Post.