Sunday, July 6, 2008

Norwegian Dawn Makes High Seas Double Rescue

When you're in trouble at sea, who ya gonna call?

While sailing off the coast of Massachusetts and New York on Monday, June 30, 2008 on its way to Bermuda, Norwegian Dawn answered two separate distress calls within twelve hours and rescued two injured sailors from different boats in rough seas.

The first rescue, 210 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, involved the sailboat Patriot on its way back from Bermuda where it competed in a race. One of Patriot's crew members, Andrew Paul Giglia, 42, of Wilton, Conn., was suffering from shock-like symptoms and needed to be evacuated immediately. Norwegian Dawn was contacted by the United States Coast Guard since it was the closest ship to the sailboat. Approximately 52 miles away, the NCL ship quickly diverted course and made radio contact with Patriot. The Coast Guard had already deployed an aircraft to provide additional support for the rescue operation.

Norwegian Dawn Captain Trygve Vorren skillfully maneuvered the 965-foot cruise ship along side the 40-foot sailboat and ordered a small rescue boat lowered. Despite winds up to 35 knots and waves up to fifteen feet, a three-person rescue team from Norwegian Dawn was able to embark the ill sailor without difficulty. He was treated for dehydration by the ship’s doctor.

Within twelve hours of rescuing the first sailor, Captain Vorren was notified of another, potentially more serious, injury on the sailboat Misty approximately 260 miles south of Montauk, NY. Hillary Bercovici, 55, of Greenwich, Conn., a male crew member aboard the Misty sustained a head injury and was loosing consciousness. Again, Norwegian Dawn was the closest ship, approximately 32 nautical miles away. Despite deteriorating weather conditions, reported as very rough with rain, wind gusting up to 33 knots and 20-foot swells, Norwegian Dawn located the vessel, lowered a rescue boat with the same three crew members manning it and took the injured sailor onto the ship where he received immediate medical attention, including five stitches to the forehead.

Norwegian Dawn’s doctor reported that both men were in stable condition and could disembark upon the ship's arrival in Bermuda on Wednesday, July 2 at 8 am. Video of Patriot in rough seas available from the US Coast Guard.

Photo: Norwegian Dawn’s rescue boat makes contact with the sailboat Patriot off the Massachusetts coast on Monday, June 30. Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

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