ENVIRONMENT

British family of 4 rescued from remote South Pacific reef

A British family of four has been rescued from a remote reef in the South Pacific Ocean after their catamaran ran aground during heavy seas.

The family activated a distress beacon just after 2:30 a.m. Monday from the uninhabited and semi-submerged Beveridge Reef.

Search and rescue officials say they were very fortunate another boat, the Dona Catharina, happened to be anchored within the reef at the time.

Speaking from a satellite phone aboard the Dona Catharina, captain Martin Vogel says he was able to communicate with the family during the night and rescue them using a life raft when light broke in the morning.

He says the family included a boy and a girl aged about 13 and 11 and they were all safely aboard and sleeping after their ordeal.