Italian skipper reunited with yacht that drifted from Newfoundland to Kerry

From left, Fransicso Crispino with his student Sergio and internationally renowned yacht racer Michele Zambelli on Fermoyle Strand near Cloghane where his yacht, Illumia 12, washed up having drifted across the Atlantic from Newfoundland. Photo: Marian O'Flaherty

An Italian skipper whose racing yacht drifted across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to West Kerry has finally been reunited with his beloved vessel.

Michele Zambelli was rescued from the nine-metre Illumia 12 on June 11th by the Canadian Coast Guard 650km southeast of Newfoundland.

Michele thought his yacht was gone forever until it was spotted floated just off Fermoyle Strand near Cloghane.

The top yacht racer traveled to a cold and very windy Fermoyle beach today for an emotional reunion.

He said looking down from helicopter when he was rescued and seeing his boat drift off to sea was difficult as he thought it was the last time:

Michele now intends to work with a school to bring the boat back to Italy to be restored back to sea-worthiness.