Sailor Survives 16 Hours Trapped Under Capsized Boat in the Atlantic Ocean Before Being Rescued

French sailor Laurent Camprubi spent 16 hours in his overturned sailboat

After spending 16 hours under his capsized boat in the Atlantic Ocean, a French man was rescued by coast guard divers in Spain.

For nearly a day, a French sailor -- identified by coast guard officials as Laurent Camprubi -- survived using an air bubble inside the boat, according to Reuters. And although the coast guard said the operation was "verging on the impossible," he was rescued on Tuesday.

The 62-year-old's vessel set sail from Lisbon in Portugal on Sunday morning, but a distress signal was sent at 8:23 p.m. local time on Monday 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands off Spain's northwestern Galicia region, Reuters reported, citing the coast guard.

A rescue ship carrying five divers searched for him as well as three helicopters, according to the outlet.

In a video of the rescue mission, which was shared by the coast guard and posted on Twitter, a rescuer can be seen being lowered onto the vessel and crouching over it, listening for signs of life. The sailor responded to the diver's knocks on the hull by knocking back, Reuters reported.

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Due to the roughness of the sea, the coast guard made a decision to wait until morning for the rescue, but attached buoyancy balloons to the ship's hull to help keep it from sinking, according to NBC News.

On Tuesday morning, two divers swam under the boat to rescue him.

Afterwards, he was airlifted to a hospital but was released soon afterward, according to Reuters.

Following his rescue, Camprubi even smiled as he posed with Chief of Maritime Rescue Finisterre, Manuel Capeans next to the overturned sailboat moored at Oza's port in La Coruna, Galicia, northwest Spain.

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