French man sailing from New York to UK rescued from sinking vessel off N.J. coast

    Olivier Jehl

    Olivier Jehl

    A French sailor attempting to travel solo from New York to the United Kingdom was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after his sailboat began sinking off the southern New Jersey coast.

    Officials say Olivier Jehl’s 21-foot sailboat hit a submerged object and began sinking early Monday about 90 miles off Atlantic City.

    Jehl deployed his emergency raft and used an emergency position-indicating radio beacon to alert searchers and sent up flares to show them his location. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the guard’s Atlantic City Air Station arrived on scene and rescued Jehl, who was not injured.

    “This case was a perfect example of how to be prepared for the worst case scenario,” said Capt. Peter Mingo, the commanding officer of Air Station Atlantic City. “Personal beacons, life rafts, exposure suits and flares were the key to Mr. Jehl being able to effect his own rescue via the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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    Jehl, who blogs about his sailing journeys, was captaining a Mini 6.50, a vessel that is used for racing across the Atlantic Ocean

    According to a crowdfunding page to fund the mission, he planned on traveling 2,800 nautical miles in less than 15 days, setting a “North Atlantic sailing record for the smallest boat to make the journey,” according to


    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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