Princess Cruises ship conducts daring midnight rescue

Princess Cruises ship
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The Princess Cruises ship Great Princess responded to a police call for help outside Wilsons Promontory in southernmost Victoria, Australia, in the early hours of March 20, 2023. As the closest ship in the area, the cruise ship helped safely rescue two sailors who were stranded and abandoned their boat.

A great overnight rescue

The sailors, a man and a woman, were just short of Skull Rock, a small but prominent rock formation 4 miles west-southwest of the southernmost point of Wilsons Promontory National Park.

Their boat encountered difficulties, the nature of which was not disclosed, and the couple left the ship for a dinghy. They used a distress signal to call for help.

Credit: StudioPortoSabbia/Shutterstock

Around midnight, local authorities located the dinghy and coordinated rescue efforts by making contact Great Princesswhich was the nearest ship capable of rendering appropriate assistance.

“A lifeboat was deployed from the cruise ship in Bass Strait and the couple were taken on board.” said Belinda Batty, a media officer with the Victoria Police Department. “No one was injured in the incident”

The tense video shows the cruise ship’s lifeboat approaching in rough water and big waves. The stranded couple appeared to have been wearing safety gear, but the turbulent waters made the operation difficult and the lifeboat had to circle the dinghy to find the best angle to assist the sailors on board.

All returned safely to the cruise ship and although the ship was slightly delayed returning to Melbourne to complete its voyage, the result is gratifying.

Great Princess completed a 13-day round trip from Melbourne after visiting a variety of ports circumnavigating New Zealand. The next cruise has already begun, a 7 night South Australia explorer cruise visiting Philip Island, Port Lincoln, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.

The first ship in the cruise line’s Grand Class, Great Princess debuted in 1998 as the largest and most expensive cruise ship ever built. With a weight of 107,517 gross register tons, she is one of the smallest ships in the world today Princess Cruises‘ fleet, but is still a favorite among cruise travelers.

In comparison the upcoming sun princesswhich was recently floated outwill be the cruise line’s largest ship ever when it debuts, weighing 175,500 gross tons.

Rescue stranded sailors

Great PrincessThe seafarer’s rescue comes almost at the same time as another rescue of stranded seafarers, also in difficult conditions, but in very different waters on the other side of the world.

P&O Cruises’ Ventura rescued three yachtsmen from troubled waters in the Gulf of Mexico, also on Monday March 20th. In this incident, the yacht’s equipment failed, causing steering difficulties and requiring a rescue.

All seafarers are required by the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) agreements to assist any ship in distress, regardless of the condition, size or equipment of the ship in need of assistance, as long as the lifeboat can do so with reasonable safety.

Refugee boat in the distance - Photo courtesy Vici Sheffield
Photo Courtesy: Vici Sheffield

Refugee watercraft are involved in many notable rescue operations, such as: B. unstable or makeshift rafts or small, overcrowded boats that are not seaworthy or safe but still transport 6, 8, 10 or even more refugees at a time.

Cruise ships can and do come to the aid of other seafarers, including recreational sailors, fishermen and others who find themselves suddenly in dangerous waters or in an emergency situation due to inclement weather or equipment failure.

For example in April 2022 carnival magic responded to an emergency call from a damaged sailboat near Florida while in 2016 carnival spirit rescued two people from a stranded luxury yacht near Australia.

Have you ever been on board a cruise ship during a rescue operation? Share your experiences on the Cruise Hive boards!
Grand Princess cruise ship

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