Update 30 May: The lone yachtsman has been identified as Russian journalist Andrei Novoselov. He is to be denounced to the public prosecutor for “civil disobedience”, specifically setting sail from Tenerife despite a ports authority prohibition. The capitán marítimo provincial, Antonio Padrón, said that he will inform the Fiscalia tomorrow and that if the public ministry agree, legal action will follow. The sailor will also be required to pay for the costs of his rescue, which involved emergency services in a 48-hour mission including seven search and rescue helicopter flights. Sr Padrón refused to speculate on how much this would all amount to, but independent consultants reckon that the helicopter fuel alone would be in the region of €12,000.
Original post 28 May: A Russian sailor who left Tenerife to cross the Atlantic single-handed has been rescued some 80 miles south of here after two days adrift in a little lifeboat which he took refuge in when his yacht was about to sink. A rapid intervention craft and two helicopters went to his rescue, as well as a large number of other boats which were in the general area. All had been trying to locate him since Saturday morning.
The shipwrecked yacht was called “Overlander”, and had been sailing under the Spanish flag, though the rescue was hampered both by the fact that it wasn’t equipped with regulation emergency equipment such as a radio beacon and flares, and because the sailor only had a mobile telephone with which to communicate. He used this phone to call friends and family in the Canaries, France and Russia, rather than contacting emergency services, and he was unable, it appears, to give more than a general description of his whereabouts.
The lucky sailor has now been transferred to TFS, where he is said to be in good health.