SIALING: Autissier reassures rescuers

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The Independent Online
Isabelle Autissier, the French yachtswoman adrift in rough sub-Antarctic seas for two days, made radio contact yesterday with a rescue aircraft and insisted she was well.

"She said she was in good condition and not afraid of the yacht sinking," said Keith Hopper, a spokesman for the Maritime Safety Authority .

Autissier said the rear compartment of her dismasted yacht, Ecureuil Poitou Charentes II, was flooded and that she had lost all steering capability. She also reported there was a five-foot hole in the roof of the yacht.

Autissier, 38, contacted the Australian Air Force rescue plane using a small emergency radio dropped to her earlier. She had been heading for Sydney in the second leg of the BOC Round the World Solo Challenge when she activated her emergency beacons on Wednesday.