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French pensioner who floated across the Atlantic in a barrel arrives in the Caribbean after 130 days

French pensioner who set off to float across the Atlantic in a 10ft-long barrel finally arrives at his Caribbean destination after more than 130 days at sea… and tucks in to some Swiss cheese to celebrate

  • Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, completed his staggering 2,930-mile journey last week 
  • The former military paratrooper set off from the Canary Islands in December 
  • He survived on a diet of fish he caught himself in the motor-less orange barrel  

A Frenchman who drifted across the Atlantic Ocean in a handmade orange barrel with no engine has reached the Caribbean shore after 130 days at sea.

Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, completed his staggering 2,930-mile journey last week when he was washed towards the waters off St. Eustatius island. 

The former military paratrooper set off from the Canary Islands on the west African coast on December 26 in the 10ft-long and 7ft-wide vessel which has no means of propulsion but relies on tides to float through the water. 

Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, completed his staggering 2,930-mile journey last week when he was washed towards the waters off St. Eustatius island (pictured on arrival)

His 10ft-long orange barrel, which is not fitted with a motor, was towed for the final part of the journey to safely reach the Caribbean island shore

His 10ft-long orange barrel, which is not fitted with a motor, was towed for the final part of the journey to safely reach the Caribbean island shore

After surviving on a diet of fish he caught himself, the solo voyager celebrated by tucking into a block of Swiss cheese

After surviving on a diet of fish he caught himself, the solo voyager celebrated by tucking into a block of Swiss cheese

On his arrival, he wrote on Facebook: ‘Everything has an end … finally, here I am at the end of this adventure’.

And after completing the sensational achievement which he survived on a diet of fish he caught himself, the solo voyager celebrated by tucking into a block of Swiss cheese. 

The only luxuries Mr Savin enjoyed during his four months of floating were a bottle of Sauternes white wine and a slab of foie gras which had stashed away for New Year’s Eve, according to CNN. 

He was greeted on to St. Eustatius by a local scuba-diving centre which hailed his ‘out-of-the-ordinary sports feat’ and he was given a free ocean view room in a guesthouse.

His days have mainly gone smoothly, though there have been a few close calls. ‘I’ve only had eight difficult nights, and one that was extremely difficult,’ he said.

He worked on the construction of the ship made from a barrel at a shipyard in Ares, southwestern France

He worked on the construction of the ship made from a barrel at a shipyard in Ares, southwestern France

It has a tiny kitchen, some storage space, a cabin and some portholes which used to watch the fishes to pass the time

It has a tiny kitchen, some storage space, a cabin and some portholes which used to watch the fishes to pass the time

He was greeted on to St. Eustatius by a local scuba-diving centre which hailed his 'out-of-the-ordinary sports feat' (vessel being towed after coming ashore, pictured)

He was greeted on to St. Eustatius by a local scuba-diving centre which hailed his ‘out-of-the-ordinary sports feat’ (vessel being towed after coming ashore, pictured)

In late February, he nearly got rammed by a cargo ship that wasn’t responding to his radio calls.

‘Luckily I shot up a flare. It was like being trapped on a railroad track and I was watching the oncoming train,’ he said.

But the most perilous moment came on March 28, when his barrel was being pummelled by huge waves that were threatening to turn the vessel completely upside-down.

Mr Savin is a serial adventurer and, after a career in the military, has climbed Mont Blanc and undergone many long-haul swims. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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