117 Migrants Rescued by Princess Cruises off Greek Coast

July 13, 2015

The Greek coast guard has reported that 117 migrants have been rescued off the west coast of Zakinthos after issuing a mayday call.

The rescue operation was launched Saturday night after receiving the mayday call. A military plane found the boat in the Ionian Sea – it is currently unclear what the emergency was.

A lifeboat helped move the distressed passengers from the boat and onto the Island Princess cruise ship, which was heading towards a port on the Greek mainland.

Local authorities have had an overwhelming amount of migrants arrive in Greece, mainly from the nearby Turkish coast.

Princess Cruises have released this statement…

At approximately 8:00 PM local time (Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece) the Island Princess, while en route from Venice to Istanbul, received a mayday call from the Greek Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) to divert course to assist a vessel.  Island Princess arrived on scene to find a 25-meter boat underway making 5 knots with no apparent distress, carrying 117 Syrian nationals including men, women and children (92 adults and 25 children).  

Island Princess was requested by the Greek RCC to stay on scene and await arrival of a small Greek Navy vessel.  At approximately 1:45 AM local time, the boat started to roll heavily in the prevailing winds and seas and became distressed.  Island Princess immediately launched tender rescue boats to deliver life jackets and prepare to transfer the Syrian nationals from the boat to aboard Island Princess.  Upon arrival of the Navy vessel, the people were safely transferred aboard Island Princess.  Following completion of the transfer, the onboard medical team conducted health assessments on all 117 people while they were provided food and beverages. 

Since this rescue operation took place overnight, guests aboard Island Princess were informed by a full-ship public address announcement made by the Captain at 07:00 ships’ time.  

Aiding Vessels in Distress:

When a vessel is spotted or reported to be in distress, in the vicinity of one of our ships, it is our obligation to provide assistance, and the Captain and senior officers on the bridge determine the best course of action in coordination with local authorities. We consider it our moral responsibility to provide assistance to any vessel in distress. Over the past 10 years, our crew and ships have participated in over 30 vessel in distress rescues.

We love that Princess Cruises took such quick action when it came to rescuing people at sea. Do you agree?

Let us know in the comments below…