21 Dec 2008

French sailor rescued by Australian Navy

9:47 am on 21 December 2008

An injured sailor has been rescued by the Australian Navy from the Southern Ocean after hurting himself while competing in an around-the-world yacht race.

French skipper Yann Elies who has a suspected broken femur, has been transferred from his 18-metre yacht to the HMAS Arunta.

His condition is described as serious but stable.

Elies, the skipper of the yacht Generali, was competing in the Vendee Globe. The ABC reports he was without pain relief or food for 48 hours.

The Arunta and a doctor from the Royal Flying Doctor Service left the port of Fremantle early on Friday to assist him.

It is expected Elies will be transferred to a hospital in Perth.

His yacht was left sailing slowly northwards and other members of his team have left Australia to retrieve it.