Third placed Jean Le Cam has capsized and triggered two distress beacons since morning
A Chilean search and rescue plane deployed to assist Jean Le Cam (pictured) following a distress call at 01:40 GMT this morning, flew over the area at 09:45 and has confirmed sight of the IMOCA 60 VM Matériaux. The yacht is reported to be upside down. However, it is not clear whether the keel is still attached.
At 00:26 Jean Le Cam informed his shore team that he was in distress two hundred miles west of Cape Horn, and that it was possible he was capsizing. However, the phone then went dead and Le Cam triggered his distress beacon at 01:40. A cargo ship and a plane were deployed as quickly as possible to intervene.
The yacht was located about 200 miles West of Cape Horn. At the time the weather conditions were generating 25-knot westerly to south-westerly winds with stronger gusts.
The International Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) contacted a cargo ship 65 miles from VM Matériaux’s position. The vessel Sanangol Kassagie, a 180-tonne petrol tanker, is currently less than one mile from Le Cam’s location and has also got the yacht in sight.
Vincent Riou (PRB) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) have both changed course to go to the zone where Jean Le Cam was sailing. Riou reported that he was talking to Le Cam when there was a strange noise on board VM Matériaux.
Jean Le Cam was in third position, 460 miles behind the race leaders, Michel Desjoyeaux and Roland Jourdain, when the distress call was received. Vincent Riou and Armel Le Cléac’h were just under 200 miles behind Le Cam at the time.
No contact has yet been made with VM Matériaux, however the yacht’s second EPIRB was activated at 0850 (GMT) this morning. Conditions in the area are believed to be winds of 25-30 knots, gusting 40, with a rough sea state of 4-5m. The captain of the Sanangol Kassagie is understood to be working out best to assist Le Cam.