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Frenchman to cross Atlantic in barrel

A 71-year-old Frenchman has departed on a journey across the Atlantic in a specially constructed barrel capsule, designed to use ocean currents alone to propel him across the sea.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain's Canary Islands on Wednesday and is aiming to complete his 4,500-kilometre journey to the Caribbean in about three months.

Savin will drop markers from his three-metre long, 2.1-metre wide resin-coated plywood capsule along the trip to assist oceanographers in their study of currents in the Atlantic Ocean.

The barrel is equipped with a kitchen area, and a mattress with straps to keep him from being thrown about by rough seas.

© AP 2018