Airbnb crowned Marta Miguel and David Hernandez winners of its Night at the Great Barrier Reef competition after the ordeal they went through in Malaysia. The couple were on a sailing boat with two friends when it capsized. They managed to turn the boat upright, but were left adrift without food, water or any form of communication for nine days before being rescued.
Airbnb Australian Country Manager Sam McDonagh said: “Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is on most people’s bucket list, and the chance to live there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are delighted that Marta and David were able to feel a sense of belonging in the ocean again, after what they went through. Their story is really inspiring and we hope they continue to embrace the adventure.”
After a good night’s sleep above the spectacular underwater world, the winners were served a delicious brunch of sustainably-sourced local seafood and produce by world-renowned chef Neil Perry.
The couple announced during their stay that they are engaged. David first proposed to Marta on the third day that they were shipwrecked. He bought a ring before this trip and planned to propose on the Reef, but got too excited and popped the question again just before they boarded the plane. They are now planning to move to Malaysia to start their own business.
The guests were welcomed to the floating apartment by their host, Pascal Dattler, who spent his childhood living on a boat on the Reef. Once they had found their sea-legs, they plunged into the water for a snorkel tour with a marine biologist to take in the awe of the marine life and their private coral gardens.
The Reef is home to 100 species of jellyfish, 3,000 varieties of molluscs, millions of fish, 133 varieties of sharks, rays and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins.
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