British man spotted floating on life raft in sea with girlfriend after boat sank

A British man and his girlfriend were plucked to safety after spending an entire night adrift in the middle of the Mediterranean on a life raft.

The couple had no choice but to abandon their small boat in the Mediterranean after it burst into flames and eventually sunk.

The emergency services found them the next morning, having drifted 40 miles from their original position.

Their dramatic rescue when they were winched to a helicopter was captured on film.

A video published by the Spanish Maritime Rescue on Tuesday shows the choppy swell of the sea and the tiny white speck of the life raft as the man is winched to safety.

Salvamento Maritimo later tweeted: "Helimer 201 rescues an English man and Spanish woman from a life raft 40 miles east of Cabo de Palos (Murcia).

"They had left their Alkybon boat because of a fire on board during the night. After drifting hours, they were located by the radio beacon. The boat has sunk."

The fire had broken out in the boat shortly after the couple started their sailing trip from Cape Palos.

When it burst into flames, they had no choice but to abandon ship and watched as the Alkybon started to sink.

Despite drifting further out to sea on the life raft, they managed to stay afloat until rescued.

The helicopter crew has been praised for its "gallant rescue".

It is understood neither the British man or his Spanish girlfriend were injured. They have not been named.

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