Cruise passengers sailing aboard the Seven Seas Voyager experienced a thrill as their cruise ship assisted in the rescue of three sailors aboard a sailboat off the coast of New Zealand.

Sea Wanderer Ketch According to a newspaper in New Zealand, the cruise ship steamed to the rescue after a ketch called the Sea Wanderer reported engine failure and a loss of navigation systems Sunday evening, when the ketch was 30 kilometers off Marlborough’s Clifford Bay.

Passengers described heavy swells and winds of 50 knots. The sailboat was "just completely out of control." 

About 30 to 45 minutes later, a helicopter from the Wellington Coast Guard arrived and eventually winched the men safety. The sailors were described as "cold, wet and tired, but otherwise alright." 

A cruise passenger wrote about the incident in a blog Adventures Down Under

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Photo credit: Fairfax NZ News

  • Don’t mean to be a pain but the ship carries 700 pax. There may have been 1100 on board if one counts the crew.

  • Don’t mean to be a pain but the ship carries 700 pax. There may have been 1100 on board if one counts the crew.