Seabourn Odyssey Rescues Three Men Adrift in the World’s Largest Ocean

On Sunday evening, February 19, Seabourn Odyssey was sailing the Pacific Ocean some 150 miles southwest of Pago Pago, America Samoa, when the portside bridge watch spotted something in the distance. Captain Mark Dexter found no missing vessel reports, but wondered why this boat would be so far from land. He deviated from his course to investigate further and spotted a small boat adrift some miles away from the ship. As they drew closer, they saw three men jumping and frantically waving their clothing, clearly trying to catch the attention of Seabourn Odyssey. The ship deployed one of its rescue boats and, after determining that they were no threat, rescued three fishermen who had been lost at sea for nearly three weeks! The crew transferred them to the rescue boat and took them to the ship, where they were immediately checked out by the ship’s doctor. While they were dehydrated, hungry and had a few skin sores from the sun, the three men were in surprisingly good health considering they had been drifting at sea for weeks. They shared their story that evening: they set out to sea from Apia in Western Samoa in early February with the goal of bringing back a chest full of fresh seafood. Unfortunately, they ran out of fuel and drifted further and further away, surviving on their catch of fish and rain water. They had no distress flares, nor any means of radio communication other than a cell phone. Days turned into weeks and they saw no ships until Seabourn Odyssey. They could only hope that the ship would see them and luckily, it did. If Odyssey had been passing in darkness an hour later, the ending might have been tragically different. The fishermen gave the ship a contact for their employer. When the ship gave him the news, he burst into tears. The men’s families had given up hope and were preparing funerals for them, believing them lost at sea. Those plans have obviously changed and they will be preparing a festive “welcome home” celebration instead!  Seabourn Odyssey contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which had stopped searching for the missing men, assuming the boat had sunk. The ship arrived in Pago Pago the next morning and the fortunate men were turned over to authorities, who assisted in transferring them home to Western Samoa the following day. During the rescue efforts, Captain Dexter kept his guests informed of the situation. They were so moved by the men’s ordeal that they opened their hearts and wallets. When the fishermen disembarked in Pago Pago, they each received $800, collected from among the guests--money that they can use to purchase a new boat. What an incredibly thoughtful gesture from our guests! Thanks to the watchful eyes of Seabourn Odyssey’s bridge watch, and the curiosity of Captain Dexter, the three fishermen were saved and will live to tell their terrifying tale. This is the second rescue involving a Seabourn ship in less than a year. It is another example of the amazing skills of our seagoing staff and the timeless code of seamen to look out for each other, which does not change from generation to generation. As the Coast Guard captain put it: “the PV Seabourn Odyssey and its crew deserve a Bravo Zulu for securing these fishermen’s lives!”
The rescue boat approaches the fishermen.

The rescue boat approaches the fishermen.

A small boat in the world’s largest ocean.

A small boat in the world’s largest ocean.

Safe and sound! They’re never letting go of those water bottles!

Safe and sound! They’re never letting go of those water bottles!


Amazing story with such a happy ending! Feel so confident with you that will face anoher wonderful cruising experience next april 28 from Athens to Istambul. Congratulations!

A wonderful story that should have had wider distribution.

This is such a heartwarming story. What a stroke of luck and good timing for these brave men who struggled through such an ordeal. My only comment is that if this was written by a Seabourn staff member, they should probably correct the error that is in the second paragraph. In the sentence that begins "Unfortunately, they ran out of fuel and drifted further and further away,..." The correction is that "farther and farther" is the proper word selection here as you are referring to physical distance. Yes, it does seem to be a minor thing, but if this is going up on your website and read by the educated public, it would not reflect well upon Seabourn.

Bravo Captain Mark & Seabourn Cruise.

just cant beleive how lucky those guys were congratulations to the observancey of the seabourn crew

This is incredible. Thank you fore sharing this story!!

I am really amazed with this news. Congratulations to Captain Mark Dexter and the whole crew for this heroic deed. This gives honor to Seabourn Cruises. I am proud my son, Joseph Rod is part of of this prestigious company and he is on board to witness this event of a lifetime. CHEERS!

Wonderful story of an amazing rescue. The integrity of the Seabourn staff is one of the reasons, among many, that we are booked on another Seabourn cruise in the Fall. Congratulations to Captain Dexter and all those involved in the rescue.

Bravo Zulu to the master and crew of the Seabourn Odyssey for belonging to Amver and ensuring no call for help goes unanswered. Keep up the good work!

proud to work for SEABOURN proud to sail with Capitaine Dexter.....

how wonderful to read that the lovely CaptainMark Dexter was able to rescue the 3 fishermen. The "3 sisters" sailed with Odyssey August 2010, we had a fabulousholiday, and were invited to the bridge by Captain Mark and made to feel very welcome. We are so looking forward to returning hopefully in 2013 to celebrate a 60th , 40th and 53rd birthday! thank you for a wonderful experience Julia King

Great result, but hopefully they will use the money given to them to buy an EPIRB. The cost of searching for two days with a patrol aircraft was around NZ$32,000, along with a patrol boat from Samoa that also searched for them. A visual search probably has a 30% success rate, whilst an EPIRB search is 100%.

Congrats to Captain Mark and staff. It's the wonderful staff that make Seabourn such a class act!

Fantastic story. Was Barry Hopkins, mt favorite Cruise Director ever, involved? So happy for the happy ending!

Seabourn Captains ARE the best on the ocean! Always aware of the suuroundings and concerned for everyone's welfare. I was on a cruise when a large orange 'something' was spotted on the horizon. The Captain diverted to investigate what turned out to be a loose float, but what if it had been a lifeboat? Even though we arrived late into port, I was glad they checked!

This heroic act gives honor to Seabourn Cruises. Congratulations to Captain Mark Dexter and his crew. I am proud my son Joseph Rod is on board to witness this event of a lifetime.

I have friends on this cruise. They will have quite a story to tell on their return.

Congratulations to Captain Mark Dexter and his crew for the heroic deed. This gives honor to Seabourn Cruises. I am proud my son, Joseph Rod is on board to witness this event of a lifetime.

What an amazing story, so proud of Seabourn Odyssey and the crew. My Son Charlton is working on Odyssey and it makes me proud as a parent to know that he is surrounded by such caring and alert people. God bless each one every day while sailing on the big blue sea. God bless Sonja van Rooyen


comments powered by Disqus

Connect With Us

Want to know more? Follow us on:

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter