Two crew survive on dried biscuits off Spanish coast

A British sailor has been rescued after spending four days in an life-raft off the coast of Spain.

Jay Patel and his Belgian assistant took to their liferaft after their 44ft boat, Umbalika, sank in rough seas before they could make a mayday call.

The two men survived on water and dried biscuits until the Mr Patel’s concerned wife in London called the coastguard when she had not heard from him. A massive search operation involving ships, helicopters and planes finally spotted the men four miles from an island near Majorca. Mr Patel’s assistant, identified only as Philippe, also lives in London.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokeswoman said today that the men were travelling from the island of Palma to Tarragona, Spain, when their boat was hit by a wave and sank within two minutes.

“The men had taken to a life raft. They were eventually rescued after four days and three nights in the life raft and after an air sea search covering 20,000 sq km.”

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