A COUPLE who had set sail from the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic ocean on a sailing boat did not know about the extent of the coronavirus crisis until they reached land.

Italian, Elena Manighetti and Brit, Ryan Osborne set off from Lanzarote on February 28, when COVID-19 was still mainly contained to China.

They then proceeded to cross the Atlantic and turned their phones on for the first time on March 25, when they were nearing the Caribbean island of Bequia.

“We bought some data and I remember Ryan reading out the news and our jaws just dropped,” Manighetti told the Guardian.

“If you were waking up from a coma now, I think it would be hard to imagine the scale of what had unfolded,” Osborne added.

The couple both in their thirties have been living on their sailing boat since 2017, documenting their lives on YouTube.

Manighetti is from Bergamo in Lombardy, one of the regions worst hit by the virus worldwide.

When she found out what had happened in her hometown, she called her father who told her that everything was alright and that she shouldn’t worry about them.

When the couple originally set sail at the end of February, they told their families not to send them any bad news, something that is common for sailors to do, as when you’re sailing the ocean, you can’t do anything about the bad news you’ve heard and you just end up worrying.

They’re now both safely on the island of Bequia, on which there isn’t a single confirmed case of coronavirus.

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