Cruise liner carries out mid-Atlantic yacht rescue

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines‘ ‎ship Braemar came to the aid of a sailing yacht which had been adrift in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for nearly three days. As reported by Practical Boat Owner Magazine.

Published 8 years ago, updated 5 years ago

It involved the ‘challenging’ rescue of two passengers from the 14-metreNicollet and assistance of material for the yacht’s crew members to make necessary repairs.

The 929-guest Braemar was cruising from Santa Cruz, Tenerife to Bridgetown, Barbados, at a speed of 16.2 knots on 27 December 2015, when the officer of the watch ‎spotted the drifting sailing yacht Nicollet on the radar, 10 nautical miles from the cruise ship.

Braemar‘s officer of the watch contacted the Nicollet to make sure that everything was in order, since the yacht was drifting and no sails were hoisted.

The yacht confirmed that the steering gear was broken and the sea anchor had been deployed. The yacht had been drifting for 2.5 days‎ and was en route from Las Palmas to Dominica. The Nicollet was carrying two passengers, one male and one female, and two male crew members, all of Polish nationality.

The Braemar’s Master, Captain Robert Bamberg, contacted the Nicollet and asked what assistance was required. The skipper of the sailing yacht requested that the cruise ship take the two passengers on board and supply some material for the necessary repairs to the Nicollet, which the two crew members would carry out.

Captain Bamberg informed Braemar‘s guests that the ship would be involved in a rescue operation, and ‎he manoeuvred the ship into position, ready to lower the rescue tender boat. Tender boat number 10 was then launched, with six crew members aboard.

Fred. Olsen’s tender boat number 10 delivered a supply of wood, a hacksaw, two wooden oars and a box of water to the two crew members remaining aboard the stricken Nicollet – although the sailing yacht was equipped with enough food and water to last up to three weeks – and the two passengers were transferred to the tender boat and taken to Braemar.

Following a full security inspection and medical check, it was confirmed that the two passengers were Polish nationals and in good health.

At midday on 27 December 2015, Braemar was back on track, sailing to Bridgetown, Barbados, to continue her 15-night ‘Canaries Christmas & Caribbean New Year’ cruise.

‎Speaking of the rescue operation, Captain Robert Bamberg, Master of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Braemar, said: ‘The sea conditions at the scene were very challenging, with three to five metres of swell, so in order to be able to carry out a rescue operation in such circumstances, everyone must know exactly what to do.

‘Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is proud to have a very robust safety culture and procedures in place across its fleet, and my Officers and crew showed true professionalism and knowledge while carrying out this rescue operation.

‘We regularly conduct safety drills and practices, but it was great to see such team work, spirit and determination implemented so successfully in a real-life situation.‎’

Following her rescue by Fred. Olsen’s Braemar and subsequent repairs, theNicollet was able to continue her voyage to Dominica.

It is expected that the two passengers from the Nicollet will remain on boardBraemar until Dominica, where they will rejoin the repaired yacht.

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  1. February 6, 2016 at 9:05 PM
    Noonsite Team says:

    I read that as he spotted the sailboat on radar at 10nm.

  2. January 30, 2016 at 6:15 AM
    Noonsite Team says:

    The captain of Braemar was able to see Nicollet from 10 miles away? I want a pair of binoculars like he has!