Frenchman trying to cross Atlantic in barrel capsule

  • In this photograph taken Saturday Dec. 22, 2018, Frenchman Jean-Jacques Savin, 71-year-old, stands on top of his 3-metre (10-foot) long, 2.1-metre (7-foot) wide resin-coated plywood capsule, which will use ocean currents alone to propel him across the sea. Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday and is aiming to complete his 4,500-kilometre (2,800-mile) journey to the Caribbean in about three months. (Courtesy of Jean-Jacques Savin via AP)

PARIS — A 71-year-old Frenchman has departed on a journey across the Atlantic in a specially designed barrel capsule, which will use ocean currents alone to propel him across the sea.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday and is aiming to complete his 4,500-kilometre (2,800-mile) journey to the Caribbean in about three months.

Savin will drop markers from his three-meter (10-foot) long, 2.1-metre (seven-foot) wide resin-coated plywood capsule along the trip to assist oceanographers in their study of currents in the Atlantic Ocean.

The barrel is equipped with a kitchen area, and a mattress with straps to keep him from being thrown about by rough seas.

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