Four British rowers who survived
a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic have been reunited with their families.
The rowers were plucked from the sea by rescuers after the storm hit their
boat "like a missile" and tore it apart.
Rowers Mark Stubbs, Pete Bray,
Jonathan Gornall and John Wills
flew into Southampton Airport where they were hugged and kissed by wives
The men had been attempting to row across the Atlantic west to east.
They were just 300 miles from the finish line when a 60ft rogue wave
smashed into their craft - the Pink Lady - off the south coast of Ireland.
Mark Stubbs with his family
ferocity of the wave broke the craft in two, plunging the men into the
water in heavy seas.
"We were lying in the cabin listening to the waves coming in. Most of the
waves were benign and went with the boat but there were rogue waves," Mr
"We then heard one coming sounding like an express train and then there
were twin detonations and the next thing I was in the water and I knew
something catastrophic had happened.
"I thought at the time 'I do not think I can hold my breath much longer'."
From left, Mark Stubbs, Pete Bray, John
Wills and Jonathan Gornall
diver Pete Bray, 48, from Bridgend, south Wales, twice dived into the
broken craft to get the crew's life raft and survival kit.
"For me and the others, he is a bit of a hero," Mr Gornall said of his
The men also paid tribute to the Falmouth coastguard, the RAF Nimrod and
the skipper of the Scandinavia Reefer vessel which came to their rescue.