Newspapers in Australia are reporting that a cruise ship is on its way to rescue a round-the-world sailor whose sailboat was de-masted, forcing him to abandon ship into a life raft in remote waters southwest of Tasmania.

The Brisbane Times states that French yachtsman Alain Delord was attempting a sail around the world but became stranded at sea after his sailing yacht was damaged in rough seas. A cruise ship, Orion, diverted its course for Antarctica to assist in the rescue.

Alain Delord Tchouk Tchouk NoguatThe 63 year old sailor was skippering the 10.6 meter sailboat named the Tchouk Tchouk Noguat.  Delord is an experienced mariner, having reportedly completed 17 trans-Atlantic voyages. He has been at sea for several months.

He keeps a blog about his adventures and last noted that he was plotting a course through severe winds measuring 40 knots and 10 meter seas. He was wearing survival gear when he entered the life raft. 

The Orion cruise ship should be at the location of the distress beacon tonight. The emergency beacon was activated yesterday, 500 nautical miles southwest of Hobart.

A French sailing magazine Mon Voile interviewed Mr. Delord in October and discussed his preparations for the trip, the reinforcement of the mast and the steps to be taken in the event of a de-masting.

Let’s hope and pray that this turns out well for the Frenchman. 

January 20 2013 Update: Success!  The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Delord is safely aboard the Orion. His first meal?  "French onion soup, proceeded by a nice fresh green salad and lamb shank with a nice glass of red."

 

Photo credit: Mon Voile Mag

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

Please contact us should you have any photos or video to share.

 

Photo credit: Fairfax NZ News

The Vancouver Province contains a dramatic story involving the Canadian Air Force’s rescue of two British Columbia sailors whose storm battered sailboat was pitching wildly in 80 km/h winds and high waves near the Queen Charlotte Islands.

The Canadian Air Force deployed a helicopter to try and winch the two men off the deck of the Magnolia sailboat but the torn rigging and swaying mast posed a hazard. A photo of the sailboat, illuminated by a helicopter spotlight, is to the right.  

Meanwhile, the Star Princess cruise ship was nearby heading to Alaska.

Everyone remembers the Star Princess. The notorious cruise ship recently made the headline when it sailed by three Magnolia Sailboat RescuePanamanian men in the little fishing boat, 50 Cents, leaving two men to perish at sea, while three cruise passengers pleaded for the cruise ship to stop and assist the disabled fishing boat. We wrote about the dreadful incident – Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?

This time the Star Princess didn’t look the other way.

As explained in the Vancouver Province, the giant ship tried to break the wind and calm the waves. But instead the cruise ship’s presence added to the danger because the wind and current would move the cruise ship in unexpected directions. "It drifted much too fast towards us," said a Canadian Air Force rescuer who was in the water at the scene.

The helicopter diver had to drop into the water twice and then swim over to the bobbing sailboat to rescue the men.

The helicopter eventually lifted the two sailors to safety, and the Star Princess headed on to Alaska.  

If you were on the Star Princess and have photos, video or comments about the rescue to share, please let us hear from you.

 

Consider reading:

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

 

Photo: Canadian Air Force (Sgt Robin Richardson, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron)

Earlier this month, crewmembers aboard the Celebrity Century cruise ship recorded interesting video of the rescue of an injured skipper in the Pacific as the cruise ship sailed to Hawaii.

The incident involved the Quantum Leap, a 49 foot sailing yacht which was being delivered from San Diego to Honolulu by captain Phillip Johnson, together with his nephew and another friend. 

After the sailboat left California, it began experiencing problems with its generators and batteries, which compromised power to the sailboat’s satellite phone and GPS. 

Captain Johnson was injured badly when rough weather struck the sailboat. Because of the distance to the closest port (some 700 miles), the U.S. Coast Guard was unable to send a helicopter but contacted vessels in the area.

In this case, the Celebrity Century was sailing to Hilo.  As explained in an interesting account from Sail World,  Celebrity Captain Konstantinos Patsoulas turned the 815 foot cruise ship around and headed for the sailboat which took approximately 12 hours. 

You can see how the cruise ship deployed the rescue boat and took the crew of the Quantum Leap aboard the cruise ship, to the applause of the passengers and crew.  The sailboat was adrift as the Century then continued it cruise to Hawaii.  

Sail World also explains about how, three weeks later, the Quantum Leap washed ashore on a beach in Maui without its captain or crew . . . 
 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XFom6-W4aSU%3Frel%3D0

 

An interesting account of the rescue is also contained in an article "Rescue at Sea" by Lorraine Thompson who was cruising with her husband, Charles, on their 56th cruise. 

Video credit: wb6jao (YouTube)

According to WAVY.com, on October 29, 2011, the Norwegian Gem cruise ship responded to a distress signal initiated by a disabled sailboat which had lost power and was taking on water.  The sailboat was 256 miles northeast of Bermuda, and it would have taken days for a Coast Guard cutter to respond from the U.S. 

The Coast Guard sent a C-130 aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina and coordinated the arrival of the NCL cruise ship which was in the area.  

The Norwegian Gem deployed a lifeboat which the NCL crew tethered to the sailboat which had five sailors aboard.

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=eirpL35Ki40%3Frel%3D0

 

Video Credit:  WAVY.com