Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 10:41 UK

Sailor in trouble waits for wife

Map of Nelson in New Zealand
It took eight days to tow Mr Curphey's yacht to Nelson in New Zealand

A British sailor waited two days to be rescued by his wife because he did not want to trouble the coastguard.

Tony Curphey, of Emsworth, Hampshire, sails around the world with his wife but they travel in separate boats.

When he got into trouble 700 miles (1,127km) off the coast of New Zealand he radioed his wife Susanne Huber-Curphey 150 miles (241km) away.

He said he did not alert the local rescue services because he did not want to become "another Tony Bullimore".

Mr Bullimore was rescued by the Australian navy five days after his yacht capsized in the Southern Ocean during the Vendee Globe solo round-the-world yacht race in 1997.

He survived on "a little chocolate, water and sheer determination" in an air pocket in the upturned hull of his yacht Exide Challenger.

Mrs Huber-Curphey, 47, said Australians still complained about how much it cost to rescue Mr Bullimore and said her husband did not want to follow in his footsteps.

Mr Curphey got into difficulties when his 27ft (8.2m) clipper, Galenaia, started taking on water in a storm.

On their internet blog, Mrs Huber-Curphey said: "Galenaia had sprung a leak with the skeg and rudder severely damaged and he had to pump every hour!

"He managed to dive to inspect the fault and support the skeg with several ropes.

Mr Curphey then radioed his wife, with whom he normally only meets up in port.

She said: "His words on the radio were 'I'd rather be rescued by Susanne than by the authorities'."

It took her two days to reach him and she sailed past five times in her 40ft (12m) ketch So Long, before managing to attach a tow line.

The couple kept in contact with rescue services by radio but declined their help.

It took them eight days to tow the boat to Nelson, in the north of New Zealand's South Island.

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