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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Young sailors rescued near Tahiti
Gipsy Moth IV
Gipsy Moth IV set off on her latest voyage in September 2005
Three British teenagers on an 18-day sailing adventure break with a charity had to be rescued after their yacht ran aground on a seabed near Tahiti.

A 16-year-old from the Isle of Wight and two others were on holiday with UK Sailing Academy onboard Gipsy Moth IV.

The historic 54ft yacht is currently making her second circumnavigation of the globe after Sir Francis Chichester took her on that voyage 40 years ago.

The charity said it hoped to repair the boat and continue the trip.

The teenagers, a 16-year-old from Cowes, and two others, aged 16 and 18, from Manchester, were rescued along with three crew members on Saturday evening.

The 32-year-old woman skipper, a male first mate, 24, both from the Isle of Wight, and a woman crew helper, 48, of London, had called for help after the yacht ran aground.

This was not our intention that their passage would be curtailed but they are in high spirits and looking forward to coming home to tell their stories
David Green, CEO of the sailing academy

David Green, CEO of the Isle of Wight-based charity, said: "These deserving, young people have been selected to partake in one of the legs of this voyage.

"It's a two-year project sailing around the world. We specialise in introducing young people to the great outdoors through sailing.

"We are hoping to be able to get the boat back into deep water in daylight.

"Our intention will be to conduct such repairs as necessary and continue with our voyage.

"This was not our intention that their passage would be curtailed but they are in high spirits and looking forward to coming home to tell their stories."

Investigations hampered

Falmouth Coastguard liaised with the crew and local emergency services to arrange for a local boat to take five of them ashore while the skipper stayed on board on Sunday morning.

It was not known why the yacht ran aground as a power cut has hampered investigations - visibility was good and the sea was calm at the time.

Sir Francis Chichester completed his single-handed trip around the globe onboard Gipsy Moth IV in 1967.

Before embarking on her latest trip in September last year the yacht underwent extensive restoration in Gosport, Hampshire.

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