• France's news in English
Woman survives 36-hour ordeal on paddle board
Imagine spending 36 hours clinging to a paddle board in the English Channel. Photo: Lady May Pamintuan/Flickr

Woman survives 36-hour ordeal on paddle board

Ben McPartland · 13 Aug 2014, 09:08

Published: 13 Aug 2014 09:08 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 24-year-old set out on her paddle board from the Normandy town Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue on Sunday evening, after spending the night with family.

"We had had a great night and she decided to paddle under the moonlight without telling us," her uncle Christophe Remy Nerys, told BFM TV.

"It was not until later the next day we realized she was gone."

Air and sea searches were launched on Monday but rescuers could not locate the paddle boarder, who has been named as Clemence Lapeyre from Paris .

It is unsure what happened whilst out at sea but it appears strong currents, the wind and rough seas prevented her from being able to get back to her starting point.

After spending two nights desperately trying to stay on her board, she was found the next day at around 3.30 pm having drifted around 100 km to the east, regional newspaper Ouest France reported.

She was discovered about 45km from the port of Le Havre by a Belgian fishing boat. 

"She fell off her board three times," her uncle said. "Apparently she tried her best to stay conscious and cling to her board and not let go."

Story continues below…

According to Ouest France she was able to alert her sister to let her know she was safe and sound. France's national maritime rescue service SNCM said it was a "miracle" she had been found alive.

They said she faced four metre high swells and winds of up to 40 knots.

In the end rescuers took her by boat to the hospital in the town of Fecamp, maritime authorities told AFP.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available