On 27 December 2015 Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship Braemar came to the aid of a sailing yacht marooned in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with the rescue of the 14m Nicollet and her four Polish passengers and crew, who had been adrift for nearly three days.
On the morning of 27 December Fred. Olsen’s 929-guest Braemar was cruising from Santa Cruz, Tenerife to Bridgetown, Barbados, at a speed of 16.2 knots, when the Officer of the Watch spotted the drifting sailing yacht Nicollet on the radar, positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, ten nautical miles from the cruise ship.
Braemar’s Officer of the Watch contacted Nicollet to make sure that everything was in order, since the yacht was drifting and no sails were hoisted.
The yacht confirmed that the steering gear was broken and the sea anchor had been deployed. The yacht had been drifting for 2.5 days and was en route from Las Palmas to Dominica. Nicollet was carrying two passengers, one male and one female, and two male crew members, all of Polish nationality.
Braemar’s Master, Captain Robert Bamberg, contacted Nicollet and asked what assistance was required. The skipper of the yacht requested that the cruise ship take the two passengers on board and supply some material for the necessary repairs to Nicollet, which the two crew members would carry out.
Captain Bamberg informed Braemar‘s guests that the ship would be involved in a rescue operation, and he manoeuvred the ship into position, ready to lower the rescue tender boat. Tender boat number 10 was then launched, with six crew members aboard.
Fred. Olsen’s tender delivered a supply of wood, a hacksaw, two wooden oars and a box of water to the two crew members remaining aboard the stricken Nicollet – although the sailing yacht was equipped with enough food and water to last up to three weeks – and the two passengers were transferred to the tender boat and taken to Braemar.
Following a full security inspection and medical check, it was confirmed that the two passengers were Polish nationals and in good health.
At midday on 27 December Braemar was back on track, sailing to Bridgetown, Barbados, to continue her 15-night ‘Canaries Christmas & Caribbean New Year’ cruise.