Ex-French paratrooper, 72, completes Atlantic crossing in a barrel

Jean-Jacques Savi, who turned 72 during his single-handed crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a 3-metre-long specially built barrel, has arrived in the French Carribean Island of Martinique, after drifting on currents for 135 days at sea and across more than 4,500 kilometres from his departure point in the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa.

This article is freely available. Check out our subscription offers. Subscribe

A 72-year-old French adventurer is on the Caribbean island of Martinique after successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel-shaped orange capsule, reports BBC News.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off on his journey in late December from El Hierro in Spain's Canary Islands.

He used ocean currents alone to propel the capsule across the Atlantic.

Mr Savin declared his trip a success on April 27th, when he entered the Caribbean after 122 days at sea.

The journey covered more than 4,500km (2,800 miles).

As Mr Savin explained in a Facebook post, a Dutch oil tanker initially picked him and the barrel up in Caribbean waters and delivered them to the tiny Dutch island of Sint Eustatius.

After a few days there, a French tugboat brought him to France's overseas department of Martinique on Thursday.

"It was an exhilarating voyage but also quite risky," Mr Savin said after arriving on Martinique.

The former military paratrooper spent more than four months in the barrel, which is 3m (9 feet) long and 2.10m wide.

The vessel includes a sleeping bunk, kitchen and storage, and has a porthole in the floor through which he was able to watch passing fish.

Read more of this report from BBC News.


Extend your reading on Mediapart Unlimited access to the Journal free contribution in the Club Subscribe