The signal from the family, who were travelling from Lowestoft to Gibraltar and were about 200 miles from the French coast at the time, was picked up about 60 miles away by HMS Illustrious.
Chief Petty Officer Bob Saunders, who took part in the rescue, said: "They had sold up everything in the UK and were off round the world. They were going down to the Mediterranean first. Now they have nothing." The names of the rescued family had not yet been released by the Navy.Reuse content