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Cast Away: At Sea for Days Without Contact, UK Couple Had No Idea About Coronavirus Pandemic

Manchester couple Ryan and Elena had asked their shore contacts to not give them any bad news while they were at sea | Image credit: http://sailingkittiwake.com

Manchester couple Ryan and Elena had asked their shore contacts to not give them any bad news while they were at sea | Image credit: http://sailingkittiwake.com

When the COVID-19 crisis began to blow up and affect millions on a global scale in March, Ryan and Elena had been sailing the Atlantic Ocean with no contact with outside world.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: April 22, 2020, 2:30 PM IST
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Even as the world continues to battle with the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 177,780, a couple from the United Kingdom couple only just found out about global pandemic.

Manchester residents Ryan Osborne and Elena Manighetti quit their jobs in 2017 and took their boat to travel the world. The couple often ends up spending days at sea with minimal or no contact with the outside world.

When the COVID-19 crisis began to blow up and affect millions on a global scale in March, the couple had been sailing the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean where they had planned to dock. After being at sea for 25 days when the couple finally decided to dock at one of the French territories of the Caribbean, they realised that all the borders were sealed.

"In February we'd heard there was a virus in China, but with the limited information we had we figured by the time we got to the Caribbean in 25 days it would all be over," Manighetti, an Italian national, told the BBC. It was only after the couple approved shore when they realised that "the whole world had been infected" in their absence.

Since Manighetti was Italian, the couple had to reveal their travel history to authorities to prove they had not traveled to Italy in the near past. Thankfully, the duo had tracked their journey on GPS which helped them prove they had been in isolation at sea for the past 25 days. The couple was finally able to dock their boat and land on firm ground in Bequia, St Vincent, which is where they will stay until movement is relaxed.

Manighetti told the BBC that though her hometown Lombardy in Italy had been one of the COVID-19 hotspots that were worst affected by the virus in Italy, her family was safe. As of Wednesday, Italy had recorded over 24,000 deaths and 183,957 positive cases.

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