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Spanish sailor Javier Sanso capsized on Sunday and was waiting to be rescued as he sees his bid to finish the Vendee Globe threatened, some 500 nautical miles west of Madeira, Portugal, race organisers announced on Sunday.
"At 11h49 French time (10h49 GMT), two distress beacons were triggered and a rescue helicopter has been sent," read a statement on the Vendee Globe website.
Sanso was reported to be on a lifeboat and signalling for help as well as setting off smoke flares as he awaits help.
Frenchman Francois Gabart was the first to reach the finish at the Vendee region on the west coast of France on January 27, as he won the race for the first time in a record time of 78 days and two hours.