The drama arose during gale-force winds in the Aegean Sea. A Spanish family of five were stranded on their yacht and had to be rescued by helicopter airlift and speedboat.
The incident unfolded west of the Cycladic island of Kythnos, some 52 nautical miles (96 kilometers) from the port of Piraeus.
A Greek Merchant Marine Ministry spokeswoman told AFP, "We received a distress call from a Spanish woman on board a yacht with three children, who said her husband was on a life raft."
"We do not know exactly what happened because the lady was not very cooperative, possibly because her English was not very good," the spokeswoman said. "We hope to know more when they give their report to the coastguard," she said.
The woman and the three children were apparently rescued by speedboat, and her husband was later picked up from the raft by a Super Puma helicopter, as passengers on a nearby Greek ferry reportedly watched the incident. The spokeswoman added that the family would be reunited at the nearest Athens port.
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