Ben Ainslie's honeymoon distress call answered by Sir Richard Branson

Ben Ainslie was on honeymoon with his wife Georgie Thompson in the Caribbean when his boat hit trouble.

Story highlights

  • Sir Ben Ainslie is rescued by Sir Richard Branson while sailing on his honeymoon
  • Ainslie sent out a distress call after his boat's main sail became tangled
  • The four-time Olympic gold sailing medalist was sailing in the Caribbean
  • The staff on Branson's private island helped steer Ainslie to shore

(CNN)Given his sailing pedigree it's the last thing you would expect, but America's Cup hero Sir Ben Ainslie had to send out a distress call after sailing into trouble on his honeymoon.

And who better to answer a knight's call for help than another knight of the British realm, Sir Richard Branson.
A four-time Olympic sailing gold medalist, Ainslie was on honeymoon in the Caribbean with his new wife, British TV presenter Georgie Thompson, when the furling system broke on the vessel's main sail.
    "Seeing as Ben is one of the greatest sailors of all time, what we didn't except to see was his boat getting into trouble!" Branson explained on his blog.
    "However, his boat had a serious mechanical problem, in no way Ben's fault, and he put a message out asking for help."
    Ainslie was sailing close to Branson's private Necker Island, where some of the tycoon's staff soon sailed to the rescue helping to cut the tangled sail to pieces.
    "Unsurprisingly, Ben kept an amazingly cool head whilst directing operations -- he just needed more hands to sort out the mess," the billionaire added.
    It's not the first Ainslie has extricated himself from sticky situations.
    The 37-year-old Briton captured a fourth consecutive gold at the 2012 London Olympics after a poor start to the competition.
    The following year he played a pivotal role in Oracle Team USA's dramatic America's Cup win. He joined the crew as the team's tactician and helped turn an 8-1 deficit into a 9-8 triumph.
    Once back on dry land, the newly weds holidayed with Branson on Necker Island for a few days.
    The sailing star will be soon returning to his life on the ocean waves as he continues his plan to lead a British team to victory in the next edition of the America's Cup in 2017.