A team of conservationists, including a New Zealander, stranded on one of the world’s most remote places have been rescued by the UK military.
The 12 researchers from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds arrived on Gough Island in the South Atlantic at the end of February to begin a restoration programme saving endangered seabirds being eaten by giant invasive mice.
But when the coronavirus outbreak escalated globally, the group was forced to undertake a complex and lengthy journey back to London before boarding a RAF A400 transport aircraft.
"When the plan was finally mapped out, the group boarded their yacht and began the voyage to Ascension Island, a journey of 1969 nautical miles through rough seas," said Kate Lawrence, who was among the group and lives in New Zealand.
"Sailing in that boat for 12 days, looking at the endless blue ocean around me, made the world feel quite big in contrast to the previous ease of air travel and the rapid spread of Covid-19, which makes the world seem so small."
Most of the group - made up of British nationals, one Australian, one US national and a Greek national - had planned to spend a year on Gough Island before the project was postponed.