The 50,000-ton, 940-guest luxury liner, Crystal Harmony, rescued four persons who were floating in a life raft after evacuating their burning freighter in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Feb. 1.
Less than two hours following Crystal Harmony’s afternoon departure from St. Thomas, crewmembers observed the Loraine, a small, 206-ton inter-island freighter engulfed in flames and smoke and a nearby bobbing life raft carrying four people. While contacting the United States Coast Guard, Crystal Harmony altered its course and initiated the rescue mission.
The captain and all three crew members from the Loraine were safely rescued, and brought aboard Crystal Harmony for immediate medical screening and treatment. The Loraine crew sustained only minor injuries, and remained overnight on board Crystal Harmony, until she diverted to St. Lucia the following morning for their disembarkation. The mission delayed Crystal Harmony’s scheduled arrival in Fortaleza, Brazil on Feb. 6 by only 90 minutes.
“We all know the dangers of fire at sea, but we’re delighted we could extend our support and ensure this one had a happy ending,” says Egil Giske, Captain, Crystal Harmony. “This is another indication of the brotherhood of sailors, and how we all – small craft and large ship alike – look out for each other’s welfare.”
The rescue occurred during Crystal Harmony’s current 17-day South America cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, which concludes in Buenos Aires on Feb. 15. In Condé Nast Traveler’s first-ever list of “The Best Cruise Ships in the World,” published this month, Crystal Harmony placed first of 21 ships in the medium-sized ship category (carrying from 500 to 1,500 passengers).