Update at 23:15 hrs Monday – The search continues for Vendee Globe race competitor Kevin Escoffier (PRB), following the triggering of his distress beacon at 13:46hrs Monday.
Fellow competitor Jean Le Cam was the first to be contacted by the race management, and arrived at the location at 5 pm guided by the race director, who gave him in real time the positioning of Kevin Escoffier’s personal beacon (AIS MOB Man Over Board).
Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) was sailing with three reefs in his mainsail in order to remain mobile in winds of 20 knots, and troughs of 5 meters.
Eye contact was made, Le Cam saw the life raft, he also saw Kevin Escoffier, presumably in his TPS survival suit, and a voice exchange took place between the two men.
Trying to maneuver to come back as close as possible to the raft, Jean le Cam lost visual contact with Escoffier in the very rough sea and in the dark.
Since then, Jean Le Cam has continued his efforts, but was no longer able to locate the raft with Escoffier on board and failed to pick up the signal from the AIS whose range was reduced due to heavy seas.
In order to reinforce the search, the race director contacted three more skippers who were racing in the same group:
Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ), then Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC).
At 9.45 p.m., Yannick Bestaven reached the area. Boris Herrmann was expected to arrive around 11 p.m. Sébastien Simon is expected a little later.
A fine grid process for the area has been established and will be carried out by the four IMOCAs who have come to provide assistance.
The PRB shore crew said that in addition to his AIS MOB, Kevin Escoffier also has something to signal his presence in the liferaft.
Daybreak Tuesday morning is around 4:40 am HF in the investigation area.
The search continues . . .
Information received from Vendée Globe teams and the PRB Team.