Rival sails to rescue sinking sailor

 

BRITISH round the world yachtsman Pete Goss last night rescued a competitor after putting aside dreams of race victory. French solo sailor Raphael Dinelli (28) was stranded in a liferaft dropped to him by a rescue plane after his yacht Algimouss began to sink in the Indian Ocean.

He was unofficially taking part in the Vendee Globe non stop, single handed race around the world, because organisers had ruled he was not qualified enough.

Goss was lying seventh out of the 10 competitors remaining from the original fleet of 14.

Yet Goss (34), a former Royal Marine who sold his house and ran up debts of more than £80,000 stg to take part in the race, was the first to respond to the Frenchman's urgent Mayday call.

Goss eventually found Dinelli's life raft drifting in the ocean and rescued the Frenchman at 11.40p.m. (GMT), taking him on board his own yacht.

Earlier today, a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion flew 1,365 miles south west of Perth in search of Dinelli, and dropped a life raft and emergency beacon to him.

An Australian Air Force spokesman said the raft would be "a stable platform" allowing the Frenchman to be located and rescued by the Aqua Quorum.

Seas in the area had abated and winds were only 15 m.p.h., he added.

He said the crew's first reaction to sighting the stricken yacht had been one of "amazement that this guy was standing up on the deck of this half sunken yacht; that he's there and he's alive."