Griff Rhys Jones and his wife had to jump into shark-infested waters after a fire broke out on the yacht they were sailing in, it was reported today.
The Daily Mirror said the couple abandoned ship along with a group of friends while sailing round the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America.
After 30 minutes in the water, the group were rescued by an American cruise ship and taken to the Ecuadorian capital Quito, the paper reported.
An unnamed source told the Mirror: “Everyone laughed but they were not quite so jolly when they were swimming for their lives.
“Griff was at the stern of the boat and Jo was at the bow and they lost each other for a good 10 minutes.
“It was truly terrifying and Jo feared the worst.”
The source said Rhys Jones, 55, cracked jokes to keep the group’s spirits up.
A Foreign Office spokesman said there were 13 British nationals on board the MV Baranda, and none was injured in the incident.
Normal consular assistance was offered, the spokesman said, and all have now returned to the UK.