Caribbean Cruise – Rescue in the night

February 13, 2015 at 8:41 am Leave a comment

Crew members of the Excalibur coming onboard Zuiderdam after being rescued.

Crew members of the Excalibur coming onboard Zuiderdam after being rescued.

I couldn’t end my posts about our wonderful Caribbean cruise to the Panama Canal without mentioning that during the middle of one night while we were sleeping, our ship rescued a 90 foot craft that was sinking along with its 8 man crew!

By the time our ships officers heard the distress call from the Excalibur, it had already lost power and was sinking.  A crew member was desperately calling on a hand held radio.  The ship was pitch black and was not visible in the dark of night.  They were out of flares and running out of time.

The eight crew members of Excalibur were taken onboard after their boat started to sink.

The eight crew members of Excalibur were taken onboard after their boat started to sink.

Below is the article written about the rescue on the HAL website.

HAL’s Zuiderdam Rescue Crew of Sinking Boat

Submitted by: HAB Editorial Team

On a recent cruise, the Zuiderdam was called upon to assist a vessel in need of assistance.

At 2:10 a.m. Jan. 3, 2015, while en route to Oranjestad, Aruba, Zuiderdam answered a distress call from the Bahamian inter-island vessel Excalibur that was sinking with eight crewmembers onboard. Zuiderdam was approximately 15 miles away and the closest ship in the area.

 “Congratulations to the officers and crew onboard Zuiderdam for their quick response that saved the lives of eight people,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are proud to be able to come to the rescue when called upon, and it’s even more gratifying when everything goes as smoothly as this operation did.”

Zuiderdam altered course and was able to successfully execute a nighttime rescue of all eight crewmembers at 3:01 a.m. The ship brought them onboard and provided food and accommodations. The rescued crewmembers debarked in Aruba Jan. 5.

I’ve been on many cruises, but never one that actually saved lives!  Just one additional event that made this trip awesome!

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