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Pair marooned on rock in ocean after shipwreck

A British couple clung to a rock in the Southern Ocean south of Tasmania Monday night after their yacht was destroyed in a ferocious storm.

Australian Search And Rescue spokesman David Gray said he was "quite staggered" that Peter and Doreen Cheek had survived. "They are extremely, extremely lucky to be alive," he said.He said the Cheeks sent out a mayday signal at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after their 39-foot yacht Talis II began dragging anchor near Maat-suyker Island, 18 miles south of Tasmania.

A rescue helicopter spotted the couple soon after first light and winched them to safety about 7 a.m.