Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship Braemar came to the assistance of a sailing yacht stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on 27th December 2015. Braemar was cruising from Santa Cruz, Tenerife to Bridgetown, Barbados when officers spotted the drifting yacht.
The 14-metre Nicollet and her two passengers and crew had been adrift for nearly three days before Braemar came to the rescue.
Braemar’s Officer of the Watch spotted the yacht drifting with no sails hoisted and contacted the Nicollet to make sure everything was in order. The crew confirmed that the steering gear was broken and the sea anchor had been deployed. The sailing yacht had been drifting for 2.5 days and was en route from Las Palmas to Dominica.
Captain Robert Bamberg contacted the crew members of Nicollet and asked what help was required. The skipper of the sailing yacht requested that the ship take the passengers on board and supply materials for the necessary repairs, which the two crew members would carry out. After informing Braemar’s guest about the ships rescue operation, Captain Bamberg manoeuvred the ship into position, ready to lower the tender boat. Along with six Fred. Olsen crew members present, the tender boat delivered a supply of wood, a hacksaw, two wooden oars and a box of water for the remaining crew aboard the Nicollet – although the yacht was equipped with enough food and water to last for up to three weeks. The tender boat then transferred the two passengers aboard the Nicollet to Braemar.
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.”
At midday on 27th December 2015, Braemar was back on track, sailing to Bridgetown, Barbados, to continue her 15-night ‘Canaries Christmas & Caribbean New Year’ cruise.
After her subsequent repairs, the Nicollet was able to continue her voyage to Dominica. The two passengers will remain on board Braemar until Dominica, where they shall re-join the repaired yacht.