Sunday, October 30, 2011

Norwegian Gem Rescues Storm Tossed North Atlantic Sailors

At 10 am yesterday, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Gem responded to a call from the US Coast Guard, who had received a distress notification from Sanctuary, a 39-foot sailboat, stating that they had large breaking waves over the bow, had lost power and their life raft, and were taking on water. Sanctuary was located approximately 350 nautical miles from New York in the North Atlantic Ocean, two hours away from Norwegian Gem, the closest vessel in the area. Norwegian Gem’s Captain Hakan Svedung immediately diverted course to rescue the four men and one woman aboard.

Upon reaching the Sanctuary, Norwegian Gem encountered extreme weather conditions with wind force up to 40 knots and large swells, making it challenging to launch the ship’s rescue boat. Once in the water, the rescue boat made contact with the sailboat and quickly transferred the five occupants who were Canadian citizens.

At approximately 2 pm, the sailboat passengers and rescue team were all safely aboard Norwegian Gem. The ship, which was returning from Bermuda, continued on its route back to New York and arrived today, Sunday, October 30 at approximately 8:30 am, 30 minutes later than the scheduled arrival. The five Sanctuary passengers will be disembarked in New York.

“This rescue operation was conducted under extremely difficult circumstances,” said Captain Svedung. “I am proud of our crew who braved their lives to rescue the five people in distress.”

Photo Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line


Anonymous said...

I was one of the people aboard this ship during this amazing and courageous rescue. However, we were much later than 1/2 hour late getting to port this morning -- try just short of 2 hours! Much applause to the crew and the captain!

Capt. said...

I was on-board the Gem and videoed the rescue. As a licensed Yacht captain I must say the crew did a great job considering the conditions. The only thing that is unclear is why the Sanctuary was not utilizing her sail rig witch looked intact.She was at the mercy of large ocean swells and 40 to 50 knots winds when we arrived on scene. Great job Gem crew!

Mary said...

I was on the ship, where can I find video and pictures? so Glad it all worked out ok, I was so nervous for all, Great crew we had!!! Thanks to that sweet captain!!! love your Ship will come again soon!!

Julie said...

I, too, was on NCL's "Gem" when it rescued the "Sanctuary." From our balcony, we watched the small rescue tender as it was tossed around by the stormy sea and finally made it to safety. The crew was truly heroic and deserved the cheers that went up from everyone observing the feat. And the captain was diligent in keeping passengers informed. What a way to end our vacation! This was our 3rd cruise with NCL and we're looking forward to our 4th.

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

Great comments, everyone. If you have video or photos, I'm sure others would like to see them as well.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


Anonymous said...

I had the luck of a 'front row seat' to most of the rescue operation, even as the ship was circling around, I assume to calm the waves and winds pelting the rescue craft.
The delay of arrival in NYC was small in comparision to the sight we were able to behold on a job well done, and nearly perfectly performed.

Turtles06 said...

I was on the Gem as well. The Captain and courageous crew did an incredible job; the conditions were quite dangerous. The rescue operation was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Thank goodness there was a happy ending.

I quickly posted several pics when we got home on Sunday night at this link: