Thursday, July 21, 2005


Doctor who made Atlantic crossing dies


Duluth News Tribune
July 19, 2005

TOULON, France - Dr. Alain Bombard, who crossed the Atlantic in a dinghy to prove that shipwrecked sailors could survive off the sea's bounty, died Tuesday in southern France, hospital officials said. He was 80.

The cause of death for Bombard, who was admitted to a military hospital in Toulon nearly a month ago, was not immediately known.

A biologist and medical doctor, Bombard specialized in the study of survival at sea. In 1952, he completed a 65-day solo voyage across the Atlantic on a single-sail inflatable raft, which he named The Heretic, to prove that it was possible to live off fresh-caught, uncooked fish.

He also demonstrated it was possible to drink seawater when limited to occasional sips.

Born Oct. 27, 1924, Bombard attended medical school in Paris and began researching the subject of survival at sea early in his career.

He published several books about his experiences at sea.

In his 50s, he entered politics, beginning with regional positions. He briefly held the No. 2 post at the Environment Ministry in 1981 and served as a European parliamentarian from 1981 to 1994, according to Who's Who in France.

Bombard's citations included France's prestigious Legion of Honor.


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