Adventurer's 2nd Attempt to Cross Atlantic Ends in Death

Jean-Jacques Savin, 75, successfully crossed the Atlantic in 2019
By Stephanie Mojica,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2022 8:15 AM CST
Adventurer's 2nd Attempt to Cross Atlantic Ends in Death
Jean-Jacques Savin was attempting to paddle across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – He'd done it before and thought he could do it again. Sadly, he couldn’t. French adventurer Jean-Jacque Savin is dead at 75 after attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean for the second time, this time by rowing, the BBC reports. Savin, who in 2019 had ventured from Europe to the Caribbean in a large orange barrel that made use of ocean currents, was trying again—this time in a 26-foot canoe, in a journey he expected would take three months. He issued two distress signals overnight Thursday, per CNN. On Friday, Portuguese officials found his overturned canoe with his body inside the cabin near the Azores, a group of islands about 870 miles west of Portugal.

Savin had departed mainland Portugal on New Year’s Day and was aiming for one of the Azores islands when he lost contact with his team. Savin’s last social media post on his personal Facebook page was on Jan. 14, the day of his 75th birthday. "As most of you know, I'm becoming the dean of the Atlantic crossing at the ridge. So bored," he wrote. Five days later, on Wednesday, he recounted on his trip’s Facebook page some of the difficulties he had encountered: "The solar sensor (which needs to recharge my water desalinator battery) is no longer working. I'm forced to use my manual disinfectant but it's costing me physical energy ... Rest assured, I'm not in danger!"

Savin’s team officially announced his death on Facebook on Saturday. "Unfortunately, this time the ocean was stronger than our friend, who loved sailing and the sea so much ... we will not communicate any more elements, not yet knowing the exact circumstances of the drama," his team posted. Savin leaves behind a daughter, Manon. During Savin’s 2019 journey, which took over four months, he traveled 2,930 miles to the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. Before focusing on ocean adventures, Savin was a military paratrooper, a private pilot, and climbed Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. (Read more obituary stories.)

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