A cruise ship was in the right place at the right time when three men whose yacht was sinking needed help. The P&O Cruises Australia-owned Pacific Dawn was able to alter her course, locate the men, and rescue them from the life raft on which they’d made their escape.
“It Was Just Panic Stations”
The problems began when the yacht hit a rope which was floating in the ocean. The line got caught in the engine, resulting in the ship’s hull being breached and taking on water, according to Newsweek.
Although both manual and bilge pumps were used, Ben Johnson — one of the three men who would eventually abandon ship for a life raft — said “It was just panic stations.
Realizing how dire the situation was, Johnson began reaching out to anyone he could think of, eventually managing to contact his wife. As the damaged yacht was off the coast of New Caledonia, Johnson’s wife managed to contact the appropriate nautical authorities who in turn reached out to P&O Cruises Australia.
The Pacific Dawn, which was midway through a 7-night South Pacific voyage, quickly altered course and was able to locate the stranded sailors.
“We’d abandoned ship by then because we were listing,” Johnson told The Australian, adding that the ship “was in very bad shape.”
Rescued Men “Couldn’t Be Happier”
In a post to their Facebook page, P&O said “Ben, Chris, and Kevin couldn’t be happier to be onboard Pacific Dawn after being plucked from the ocean where they were adrift in a life raft off New Caledonia. There’s also a photo here of the trio with the Pacific Dawn crew members involved in the rescue.
Amazing to think this all happened on World Maritime Day, a celebration of seafarers. Captain Alan Dockeray and his fantastic crew honored the first law of the sea by going to the aid of other seafarers in peril on the ocean. We couldn’t be more proud of the Pacific Dawn team. The rescued trio can’t stop singing their praises.”
Sadly, the yacht on which the men were traveling sank shortly after the rescue. The men will stay aboard the Pacific Dawn until she reaches her final destination of Brisbane as scheduled on Saturday.
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