Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:57 UK

Iceberg family from Derbyshire 'feared the worst'

The stricken yacht Hollinsclough
The yacht had taken on water and suffered engine failure

A family on a sinking yacht in the South Atlantic feared they were "in the gravest possible danger" before they were saved by the Royal Navy.

Carl Lomas and Tracey Worth, of Chelmerton, Derbyshire, were sailing to Cape Town with their two teenage daughters, Caitland and Morgause.

They got into difficulties 300 miles north-east of South Georgia on Friday.

They were rescued by the crew of HMS Clyde but had water over their ankles before they were saved by the crew.

Speaking to BBC News from HMS Clyde, which was travelling towards the Falkland Islands, Mr Lomas said: "When we were rescued we had water around our ankles and in cabin doors.

"All the systems were shutting down and we were in the gravest possible danger.

South Georgia and the Falklands

"The family was together and we sat on the aft deck in the most desperate times and we sang All Things Bright and Beautiful."

"We kept our motivation as best we could."

The yacht's locator beacon sent a signal to the Falmouth Coastguard who co-ordinated the rescue.

The family were not injured, a coastguard spokesman said.

They are expected to reach the Falkland Islands, 1,000 miles from their rescue spot, within days but their future travel plans are still unclear.

According to their online blog, they had been sailing since March 2007.

It said they had left from Ipswich and visited Santander, Cape St Vincent, Salvador, Buenos Aires, Robinson Crusoe Island, Cape Horn, and recently South Georgia.

They had been sailing to South Africa when their yacht hit a low-lying iceberg known as a "growler" which is difficult to see because most of the ice mass is below the surface.

The 60ft-long (18m) yacht Hollinsclough had taken on water and suffered engine failure.

Coastguards picked up their emergency signal north-east of South Georgia and HMS Clyde, which was 200 miles (320km) south of their position, was sent to rescue them.

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