When French sailor Manu Wattecamps’ 30-foot sailboat became disabled in 20-foot seas and 46-mph winds 400 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska, he knew he was in trouble.
He called for help on the VHF, and the nearest vessel was the 275-foot tug Tor Viking, which altered course to rescue the skipper, who had only his cat aboard as crew.
Wattecamps, his cat tucked under his sweater, clung to the rigging while his bow bucked in the rolling seas. Watching him as he tries to jump to the tug is high drama.
Wattecamps was sailing from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to San Diego when his boat was hit by a huge wave. He told friends on Facebook that his beloved sailboat was lost.
“Now I'm a captain without a ship,” he is quoted in a report by Britain’s The Daily Mail. “I have got nothing. My whole life was on my boat. I feel like a footballer who just lost a leg. Useless and without purpose.”
On the positive side, he’s alive and his cat was uninjured.
The video was shot from a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane monitoring the rescue. Petty Officer Lauren Steenson in Kodiak said the sailboat was named La Chimere.