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2000 Aussies on ship during dramatic high seas rescue

July 30, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Some 2000 Australians sailing on a world cruise aboard Princess Cruises’ Australian-based Sea Princess have witnessed the daring sea rescue of three sailors who were forced to take to a life raft after their boat sank in the South Caribbean.

When the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Curacao in the Lesser Antilles received distress calls from a stricken vessel, it asked Sea Princess to sail to the scene.

The giant Princess Cruises ship, 261 metres long, immediately turned around and sailed 60 nautical miles (111 kilometres) through the night to reach the three sailors, adrift in their raft under the stars. Just before midnight, the big ship sighted the three and lowered a fast rescue boat to pluck the seafarers from their life raft.

A tanker had been standing by but had been unable to lower a rescue boat in the prevailing conditions.

After being picked up from the life raft, the three sailors were taken aboard Sea Princess and admitted to the ship’s medical centre. They are reported to be well despite their ordeal.

“The Sea Princess team acted in the highest maritime traditions by going to the aid of fellow sailors in peril on the sea,” said Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises senior vice president Asia Pacific.

“Our guests on Sea Princess have seen seamanship at its best while observing this rescue mission as it happened.”

Sea Princess passing under Sydney Harbour Bridge on an earlier cruise

Sea Princess resumed passage for what will now be a delayed arrival at the Curacao capital of Willemstad before navigating the Panama Canal on Tuesday on the ship’s homeward leg to Sydney across the Pacific Ocean.

CRUISE SHIPS TAKE PART IN MORE MARITIME RESCUES than many people realise, and a lot of the ships involved in recent rescues have been those of Carnival Corporation & plc, the British-American cruise operator that’s currently the world’s largest travel leisure company, with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels.

Just last month, Carnival Horizon diverted to pluck seven stranded fishermen from their stalled skiff in the Caribbean, after they’d been stuck at sea for two days. Horizon was sailing back to Miami from Aruba, having stopped at Curacao.

In May, Carnival Paradise helped rescue a sailor in a sinking boat off the Mexican island of Cozumel.

In April Carnival Fantasy rescued 23 people from a sports-fishing vessel with engine trouble that had been adrift for three days.

The three rescued seafarers (with visitor passes and a change of clothes) are pictured on the bridge of Sea Princess with officers of the ship after their ordeal at sea. With them are Captain Christopher Lye, Staff Captain Paolo Ansaldi, Third Officer Max Bingle (who drove the rescue boat) along with two deck staff.


Written by Peter Needham

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