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Lost and found: Racing yacht abandoned near Newfoundland washes up on Irish beach

The Illumia 12 racing yacht and sailor Michele Zambelli never thought they would see each other again. After a remarkable five month journey, a reunion is in the works.

A racing yacht known as Illumia 12 washed up on an Irish shore. Its last known location was off the coast of Newfoundland in June.

Royal Western Yacht Club (http://rwyc.org/)

A racing yacht known as Illumia 12 washed up on an Irish shore. Its last known location was off the coast of Newfoundland in June.

Five months ago, Italian sailor Michele Zambelli was rescued from the Atlantic Ocean after his racing yacht filled with water. 

His nine-metre sail boat, the Illumia 12, was taking on water. He had no choice but to leave it behind.

A helicopter was dispatched by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax and after a long night in the cold, Zambelli was saved. 

"Your heart is broken. … That's the last time I see my boat," Zambelli told the CBC in June. "Today is a wonderful life. But … it stay for my life, this last image of my boat with the water inside."

Or so he thought.

Because while the Italian skipper watched his boat float hopelessly through the treacherous waters, drifting to its demise, the Illumia 12 had other ideas. 

It may have been broken and alone, but the Illumia 12 still had plenty of waves left to conquer.

The miraculous 170 day, 3,000-plus kilometre trip started 650km southeast of Newfoundland and ended up on a beach in Kerry, on the southwestern coast of Ireland.

According to RTE News, the boat was spotted by a surfer on Tuesday and brought in to safety by the Coast Guard.

While she may have drifted away from him in the summer, a reunion between Zambelli and the yacht is in the works.

"I am so, so happy to hear my boat is not lost," Zambelli told RTE. "I miss her. I cannot believe it. I will be coming to Ireland to take my boat home with me."

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