crystal serenity rescues capsized rowers!

December 14th, 2011

Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity rescued two rowers this morning while en route to St. Maarten from the Canary Islands.  The rowers’ small boat capsized 480 miles west of the Canary Islands after a large wave sunk their boat. Twenty-three-year-old Tom Fancett from the U.K. and Tom Sauer from the Netherlands, competitors in the 2011 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Race to row across the Atlantic, were huddled on a tiny life raft for 10 hours before being picked up by Crystal Serenity at 6:00 a.m. local time. The ship was 120 nautical miles north of the rowers when it received the rescue assist call from the Falmouth (U.K.) Coast Guard.

Sailing at full speed to the boaters, Captain Økland maneuvered Serenity through the remaining Atlantic Challenge racers and worsening weather. With lookouts posted throughout the night, Crystal Serenity located the boaters’ flare five hours later, hoisting them directly onto the ship.  After a checkup in the ship’s medical center, the survivors appear to be healthy.  Crystal Serenity expects to arrive on schedule in St. Maarten on Sunday.

“Both individuals are in good spirits and, of course, very happy to be alive,” says Crystal’s President Gregg Michel.  “We are so proud of the quick reaction and skilled seamanship of our crew that enabled them to save these brave men.  While these young men hoped to cross the Atlantic in a most basic fashion, they are certainly experiencing the crossing in the most luxurious environment – an ironic, and heartwarming, turn of events.”

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