P&O cruise ship safely rescues three from sailing yacht

P&O venture
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The P&O Cruises ship Ventura successfully rescued three sailors from a damaged yacht and got the stranded people safely on board. The incident occurred on Monday, March 20, 2023 while the cruise ship was en route to New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of a 35-day cruise.

P&O Cruises Ventura rescue

The Grand class Ventura was enjoying the time at sea in the Gulf of Mexico between Belize City and New Orleans when the sailing yacht was first sighted. Initially there was no distress and the cruise ship passed the yacht safely, but later received a distress call and turned around to move the ship and render assistance.

The weather was somewhat rough, including choppy waves and swell, and the yacht’s rigging and engine had failed, making steering impossible. On board were three sailors, two women and an elderly man.

P&O Ventura (Image credit: SeregaSibTravel/Shutterstock)

The P&O Cruises Ship approached the yacht’s port side to try to break the wind and make rescue operations safer. The elderly man was taken on board first, followed by the two women, when the yacht’s mast began to collapse, banging against the side of the cruise ship, causing additional safety concerns.

The three rescued sailors received medical attention, food and water on board the ship, as is usual with any rescue at sea. All three are well reported. The yacht was left adrift even though local authorities would have been informed of her position as a potential sailing hazard.

Such rescues, while not frequent, are not uncommon in the Caribbean where generally calm waters can suddenly become rough and challenging, especially for smaller watercraft.

Venturas 35 night trip

At the time of rescue Ventura sailed from Southampton, England, on a 35 day round trip of the Caribbean and USA embarking on Thursday 2nd March 2023.

Halfway through the voyage, the ship has already called at ports in seven different countries: Spain, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Honduras, Belize and the United States.

The 116,017 GT ship has three more ports of call after leaving her overnight stay New Orleans. The ship will call at Miami on Saturday, March 25, followed by Port Canaveral (Orlando) the next day.

P&O cruise ship
Credit: Sterling Images/Shutterstock

Ventura will then cross the Atlantic again, stopping in the Azores in Portugal before returning to Southampton on Thursday 6 April.

The ship that is Hometown Southampton, then offers a variety of shorter round-trip cruises from 4 to 14 days. Itineraries include explorations of the Canary Islands, short trips to Amsterdam and Western Europe cruises with stops in Spain, Portugal, France and the UK, depending on cruise length.

While all cruise ships are required by the law of the sea to render assistance to any ship in need, whether it be a sailing yacht, makeshift raft, rowboat, freighter, fishing boat or other craft, Ventura actually had to call for help himself.

At the end of 2019 the The ship suffered an engine failure and issued a mayday as it drifted northeast of the Canary Islands. Several tugboats helped and brought the ships safely back to port without ever endangering any passengers. The following cruise was canceled to allow full repairs to be made.

In a less life-threatening incident, the ship was forced to dispatch lifeboats during a June 2022 embarkation to a Full luggage basket accidentally thrown overboard, much to the dismay of the passengers. Unfortunately, not all soaked sacks could be recovered.

Ventura debuted in 2008 and was last refurbished a few weeks ago in February 2023 with minor updates and renovations. The ship can accommodate 3,192 passengers based on double occupancy and up to 3,597 guests when fully occupied with all berths occupied.
P&O Ventura cruise ship

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