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Yachties 'glad to be alive' after rescue

Published: 6:18PM Sunday November 11, 2012 Source: ONE News

After days of enduring huge seas in their damaged yacht, a New Zealand woman and her Welsh partner have made it back to dry land.

Adventurers Tania Davies and Steve Jones were three days out from Tonga when stormy weather struck their yacht, Windigo.

They were rescued by a cargo ship, then by the HMNZS Otago, which delivered them to Auckland today exhausted and emotional, but happy to be alive.

The couple, who have been sailing the world for three years, admitted the bad weather they came across took them by surprise. They had been hoping to invest in a new satellite phone for Christmas in order to receive more up-to-date weather reports.

"It's amazing how we really needed it at the time with what's happened now," said a tearful Davies.

Partner Jones added: "The weather system we went into was quite late developing, so the latest weather we had wasn't on it. We paid the price."

The couple were knocked unconscious when their yacht rolled nearly a week ago.

"We worked out we went 360, and the waves were well over our mast," Davies said.

"Orientation was a serious issue when we came to."

It was several days before Davies and Jones were rescued, a period in which they described feeling "seriously scared".

In their long hours of need they found friends in fellow yachties who stayed close during the storm - the Air Force long range patrol flights, the voices on the radio and the HMNZS Otago which collected them from the cargo ship and delivered them to Davie's family in Auckland.