Cheminees Poujoulat wreck recovered
The wreck of Bernard Stamm's IMOCA 60 Cheminees Poujoulat was towed into L'Aber Wrach last night after her submerged hull was spotted 40km north of l'Île Vierge, off the north coast of Brittany by a customs aircraft.
Cheminees Poujoulat broke in half on 23 December during a storm in the Western Approaches, leaving skipper Stamm and crewman Damien Guillou having to fight for their lives. After an aborted attempt to airlift them off to a Royal Navy helicopter in the middle of the night, during which they lost their liferaft, they ultimately were rescued by a Norwegian cargo ship the following morning.
As the video below shows, all that is visible of Cheminees Poujoulat above the water is her transom and her broken bow, which presumably is still alongside as the forestay remains attached. This seems to be similar to the state Stamm ultimately left the boat when he and Guillou were rescued on Christmas eve. Stamm had assumed that since their abandoning the boat, it had sunk.
"I must admit I am a little surprised," said Stamm before going out to see the boat. "When Damien and I were rescued, there wasn't much of the boat left above the surface. So it is very surprising to see her reappear now. Maybe she lost her keel and suddenly became much lighter ... I do not know."