26 Dec 2008

Shipwrecked boatie arrives home

6:05 pm on 26 December 2008

A New Zealand boatie found clinging to a rock more than 12 hours after his yacht was wrecked near Norfolk Island arrived safely on Christmas Day at Auckland airport on Christmas Day.

Rewi Kemp, 62, was presumed dead after pieces of his yacht, Moonshadow, washed up on the shores of Emily Bay on Tuesday morning.

Mr Kemp had been sailing fom Fiji when his yacht suffered electrical problems, and he diverted to Norfolk Island before hitting rocks in ferocious seas.

Mr Kemp's partner, Janet Dougherty, broke down in tears as the shipwrecked yachtie hobbled his way into the terminal. She said having her husband home was the best Christmas present she could have ever asked for.

Mr Kemp regaled bystanders with tales of his dramatic ordeal and says he will be back at sea in no time. Other than a few cuts and scratches on his feet, he appeared unscathed by his ordeal.

Ms Dougherty says Mr Kemp will have to take a satellite phone with him on future journeys.