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Round the world yachtie rescued off NZ

Published: 6:24PM Thursday November 26, 2009 Source: ONE News

A round-the-world sailor rescued from his crippled yacht off the coast of New Zealand is thanking a cruise ship captain who was on his first day at the helm.
ONE News went on board the Seven Seas Mariner to speak with the rescued sailor.
The cruise ship crew travelled 20 hours off course to get to the troubled yacht.

Captain Stan Delacombe says the decision was very difficult to make.

"I didn't really sleep much before that because you don't want to put the life of your men in danger," he says.

Three of Delacombe's crew risked their own lives getting the sailor to the safety of a lifeboat.

"The really worst time is when you need to recover the boat because for a few seconds there is nothing you can do and you just pray the wave is not coming at this time," says Delacombe.

But there were huge celebrations on board when Bernt Luchtenborg was finally rescued.

Luchtenborg was also relieved. "The only words I can say are two words, it's 'thank you'."

And now he is safe his main concern is the yacht he had to abandon.

"The boat is my heart, it's my soul, so when I leave the boat for me it was a very sad situation."

Meanwhile, he is stranded on the Seven Seas Mariner and thankful to those who have saved his life.