Don and Yvonne Newman and their six-year-old son Daniel (pictured), were rescued by the Royal Navy as their yacht was tossed around like a toy in 30ft waves and 50mph winds as they headed for Greece via Gibraltar.
As the waves battered their yacht, their distress call was picked up by the crew of HMS Illustrious and the aircraft-carrier launched a rescue mission - winching the family off the 36ft vessel one-by-one.
A spokesman for the Navy said last night the family, who set off from Lowestoft, Suffolk, last month, were suffering from the effects of shock, seasickness and dehydration. Mr Newman was exhausted from sitting in the yacht cockpit for days, and his wife had been "desperately seasick". One of their rescuers, Chief Petty Officer Bob Saunders, from Portland, Dorset, said conditions were the worst he had seen in 20 years. Kate Watson-SmythReuse content