Pacific

New Zealand father, daughter found safe after spending 27 days out at sea

A New Zealand father and daughter missing at sea for four weeks turned up safely on Australia’s South Coast on Wednesday.

Alan Langdon and his daughter Que spent 27 days sailing across the treacherous Tasman Sea in a 20-foot catamaran with a broken rudder, sparking an international manhunt for the pair, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The 46-year-old Langdon set sail from Kawhia Harbor on New Zealand’s North Island on Dec. 17, according to the paper. Langdon had been in the middle of a custody battle for his daughter with his wife Ariane Wyler, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The Herald reported Wyler hired Col Chapman, a child recovery expert to track down the pair. Wyler previously asked Chapman to help track down her estranged husband and daughter and he found them living in rural Australia.

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“We were always safe, we just couldn't let anyone know," Langdon told reporters. "I tell you I learnt a lot about sailing."

A resident from Ulladulla, Australia spotted Langdon and his daughter after seeing photos of them on posts. They were found three days after landing on the western shores of Australia.

It’s unclear whether Langdon is facing charges. Chapman told the New Zealand Herald that he should be facing “immigration charges in Australia and he should be facing similar charges in New Zealand.”

Wyler told the paper that her and Langdon separated last year and were in the midst of a custody battle for their daughter. Langdon had built the catamaran and was sure it could reach Australia.

The family had been out at sea when they got caught in the middle of Cyclone Pam in March 2015. Langdon and a friend saved his daughter’s life during the ordeal, but Langdon and Wyler split up after the incident.

Click for more from the Sydney Morning Herald.