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British couple rescued after 40 days adrift at sea

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  • British couple rescued from their 13-meter yacht in the Atlantic Ocean
  • The pair had been drifting in circles after their rudder became jammed
  • The oil tanker Indian Point took a five-hour diversion to rescue the pair
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British couple have been rescued from their 13-meter yacht in the Atlantic Ocean after they drifted for weeks with a broken rudder.

The pair, Stuart Armstrong, 51, and his partner Andrea Davison, 48, was understood to be running out of food and water when they were winched to safety from their boat Sara by crew on board the 183-meter-long oil tanker Indian Point on February 18.

Having planned to cross the Atlantic from Cape Verde to Antigua, the couple's problems began on January 9, about half-way through their journey, when the rudder of their boat jammed on starboard and sent them drifting in circles.

Armstrong alerted the U.S. Coast Guard of their problems. However, the Coast Guard told the couple they were too far out to be rescued.

The couple was then battered by several storms, and as they began to run short of food and a power cut disabled their desalination unit (which provides drinking water), the Coast Guard alerted the Indian Point, which took a five-hour diversion to save them in heavy seas. They managed to secure both sailors by lowering harnesses down to the yacht.

The pair was now expected to arrive in Amsterdam on March 1 with the Indian Point.

Speaking after the rescue, Armstrong said, "At first we were not too bothered, as we had a good supply of dry provisions, the usual things you have on a boat -- pasta, kidney beans, biscuits, rice and soya," the British newspaper The Guardian reported.

"We kept getting hit by storms, but we managed to get out of them with no real problems.

"But I knew we were riding our luck and we wouldn't be able to go on for much longer," Davison added.

A spokesman for the oil tanker said the pair was "scared and wet and happy."

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