A British sailor was rescued after spending four days in a life raft off the coast of Spain after his wife alerted coastguards in England.
Jay Patel and his Belgian colleague took to the inflatable raft after their 44-foot motorboat, Umbalika, was sunk by a 20-foot wave before they could make a mayday call.
The two survived on bottled water and dried biscuits until the sailor’s concerned wife, in London, called the coastguard.
“It was terrifying," Patel told Spanish coastguards after his rescue. "We were hit by a giant wave and sank in two minutes. We didn’t even have time to put in a rescue call over the radio.
“We are just so grateful to the people who saved our lives and want to thank everyone involved in the search.”
A massive search operation involving ships, helicopters and aircraft finally spotted the men four miles from the island of Sa Dragonera, off the west coast of Majorca. Patel’s colleague, identified only as Philippe, also lives in London.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) spokeswoman said yesterday that the men were traveling from Palma, Majorca, to Tarragona in mainland Spain when their boat was hit by the wave and promptly sank.
Coastguards had no idea that the two sailors were in distress until Patel’s wife 911 on Nov. 13.