"Australians still complain about rescuing Bullimore - we didn't want to follow in his footsteps!"

Tony Curphey, a solo British sailor, was rescued by his wife after he got into trouble 700 miles off the coast of New Zealand. For the past ten years, Tony and his wife, Susanne, have been sailing the globe separately, meeting only in port.

Mr Curphey’s 27ft plywood clipper, Galenaia, had started taking on water in a storm. Mr Curphey, 67, from Emsworth, Hampshire, radioed his wife who was 150 miles away on her 40ft ketch So Long. Mrs Curphey, 47, from Bavaria, said: “Australians still complain how much it cost to rescue Tony Bullimore and my Tony didn’t want to follow in his footsteps.”

Susanne took two days to reach her husband, and the conditions meant that it took five attempts to get a tow line attached. The couple kept in touch with rescue services by radio and reached Nelson, NZ, after 8 days.

On a yacht club blog, Susanne wrote “I had just about reached 40ºS in the Tasman Sea on day 29 of the passage when Tony reported a problem.
During the last gale Galenaia had sprung a leak, with the skeg and rudder severely damaged and he had to pump every hour! He managed to dive to inspect the fault and support the skeg with several ropes. His words on the radio were: “Id rather be rescued by Susanne than by the authorities using my Epirb!?”