British couple rescued from life raft 900 miles off coast of Bermuda

AOL Travel

A British couple and their dog were saved from the sea after clinging to a life raft for hours amid 25ft storm waves.

Leonard and Lisa Rorke, from Oundle in Northamptonshire, had to jump into a life raft after their 49ft yacht began to sink on Thursday night, around 900 miles off the coast of Bermuda.

The couple, their dog Dexter, and a Belgian crew member named Henri Worthlater, 29, were picked up by a tanker after waiting in total darkness to be rescued.

The cargo ship was on its way to Mexico and 36 miles from the Rorkes when it received the couple's distress call from their yacht, which was called Blue Pearl.

The US Coastguard was notified by the International Rescue Centre, and Mr Rorke praised the speed in which they reacted, reports the Daily Telegraph.

He also praised the skill of the captain of the cargo ship for managing to manoeuvre alongside them for the rescue. Storm conditions meant the tanker had to make three attempts to do so.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Mr Rorke said: "I cannot find words to adequately describe how skilful the captain was in getting alongside us.

"We were being tossed around in the life raft and literally clinging on for our lives."

Search and rescue controller James Hines of the 5th District Command Centre in Portsmouth, Virginia, said: "The presence and proper activation of the emergency position indicating radio beacon was instrumental in saving the crew members."

Mr Rorke added that they left the boat with "nothing" but were just "grateful to be alive".

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