Experienced sailor Alain Delord got into difficulties while attempting a solo round-the-world voyage

A solo sailor who spent three days adrift in a life raft in the Southern Ocean has been rescued by a cruise ship.

The yachtsman, named as Frenchman Alain Delord, has been recovered by the cruise ship MV Orion.

A spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which co-ordinated the rescue, said they believed Mr Delord was being taken to Hobart.

The spokesman said: ‘The sailor was recovered safely and without injury.

‘He is
currently receiving medical attention and early indications are that he
is healthy.’

Mr Delord, who had been at sea for several months, was attempting to sail single-handed around the world when his yacht de-masted and suffered hull damage in rough weather conditions.

The experienced sailor was forced to abandon his boat Tchouk Tchouk Nougat and take to a life raft south west of Tasmania on Friday, January 18.

AMSA detected an emergency beacon activation from the yacht 500nm south west of Hobart at approximately 1pm on Friday and appealed for vessels in the area to provide assistance.

Orion started making its way towards the yacht’s position.

AMSA’s Essendon-based Dornier rescue aircraft attended the life raft that evening and dropped a second life raft and communications equipment to the sailor.

Aircraft crews remained in regular communication with a solo yachtsman, until he was safely recovered and taken onboard Orion today.

The Age reported that huge cheers erupted from the Orion’s 91 passengers – who had
been supposed to be heading to Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Islands
before their trip was cut short for the rescue effort – when the
retrieval was achieved.