On Thursday evening August 17, Seabourn Quest captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen received an urgent request from Piraeus to join a search for a missing small boat south of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea. As it was quickly growing dark, the captain immediately alerted all guests and staff on board that Quest was diverting to join the search. Capt. Thue-Nilsen reports that all available staff and a remarkable number of the guests all lined the rails, their eyes searching for any sign of the small boat.
A tiny boat on a vast black sea.
It was nearly 10 p.m., and the Seabourn Singers and Dancers were about to start their show in the Grand Salon, when word came that two lookouts reported seeing a small, intermittent light, like a burning torch in the distance. The show audience and the entertainers swept onto the deck, cheering when they saw the small white boat bobbing in the searchlight. Capt. Thue-Nilsen steered toward the truly tiny boat on the black immensity of the sea. Roger Wright, the male vocalist, used his powerful baritone voice to shout “We’re coming to get you, hold tight!” They heard a woman’s voice faintly answer “OK!” They put down a rescue boat and proceeded slowly toward to the bobbing boat.
It turned out that the couple had hired the boat in Mykonos and started off around the island when their engine suddenly failed. Unable to get it started, they drifted away from the shore at the mercy of the choppy seas for a horrifying eight hours. After dark, the couple had begun removing and burning items of their clothing in an attempt to attract attention, doubtless the dim light the lookouts spotted. Within minutes, they were safely on board Seabourn Quest, the woman wrapped in a pool towel the rescuers had thoughtfully brought along. They were transported, in a style infinitely more elegant than your usual emergency vehicle, to the island of Rhodes where they disembarked the next morning.
Contact is made!
The picture of their tiny boat, alone on an empty black sea, gives silent testimony to the seriousness of the situation they found themselves in. Another example of the secondary benefit our skilled seafarers render to the general public as they transport our guests throughout the world’s waterways.
Well done, ladies and gentlemen.
Staff Captain Krasimir Radev and Captain Thue-Nilsen deliver the couple to Rhodes.