Frenchman Jean-Jacques Savin, 71, sets off on transatlantic crossing in orange barrel

A 71-year-old Frenchman has set off on a journey across the Atlantic in an orange barrel, and will use ocean currents alone to propel him.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain's Canary Islands on Wednesday, as he embarked on the 2,800-mile journey to the Caribbean.

The voyage will take around three months. Credit: Jean-Jacques Savin

If it all goes to plan it should take him around three months to complete the crossing - and while he will have to make do with the basic living conditions inside the barrel, there are some luxuries stowed away.

AFP reports the former military parachutist has brought along some foi gras, and a fine bottle of white and red wine to help him celebrate the new year as well as his 72nd birthday on January 14.

Jean-Jacques Savin is a former para. Credit: Jean-Jacques Savin/Facebook

According to AFP, the Frenchman has worked on his capsule for months, reinforcing it to ensure it can withstand the elements - and potential attacks from Orcas.

He spent months building his special capsule. Credit: Jean-Jacques Savin/Facebook

The 71-year-old will drop markers from his 3-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.