The Colombian navy rescued a French citizen whose boat foundered when he was sailing alone in the Caribbean Sea between Aruba and Panama.

Jean Pierre Legranger, 63, was sailing the French-flagged sailboat Zen, which went adrift after suffering damage to the sails and engine 38 nautical miles northwest of Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira province, the navy said in a communique.

Legranger reported the emergency to the French Maritime Center, which communicated with the Colombian naval base in Cartagena, from where the rescue was coordinated.

The French boater, who spent 12 hours adrift, was found on Wednesday by units dispatched from the Puerto Bolivar Coast Guard Station in La Guajira, to which he was taken and where he was examined by doctors.

Meanwhile, the sailboat sank after the rescue because it had taken on too much water, the navy said.

At Puerto Bolivar, Legranger communicated with his family and with the French consulate in Cartagena to work out the details of returning to his country. EFE