On Saturday, May 4, at 6:50 p.m. (UTC-2), ms Nieuw Amsterdam received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center at Norfolk, Va., regarding a mayday signal it had received from sailing yacht Embla, which was disabled and adrift. Nieuw Amsterdam immediately diverted from its course and arrived on the scene at 9 p.m. local time.
The cruise liner then initiated rescue of the sailboat's crew, two males ages 29 and 61. The men were taken aboard Nieuw Amsterdam following a security check and provided food and accommodations. They will disembark in the next port of call at the Azores.
"It is a time-honored law of the sea that any ship in the vicinity should render assistance to a vessel in distress that has issued a call for help," said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line's executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs. "While the incident diverted the ship from its course, we were happy to be able to safely rescue the two men and are incredibly proud of the crew of Nieuw Amsterdam for their efforts."
When it received the call, Nieuw Amsterdam was approximately 600 miles east of Bermuda on its trans-Atlantic crossing to Europe, and sailing yacht Embla was approximately 35 nautical miles south-southwest of the cruise ship, according to the Coast Guard. Nieuw Amsterdam is expected to arrive at Horta, Azores, Wednesday, May 8, on schedule.