Box Ship Rescues Sailors in Storm Sally
The captain and crew of a Hong Kong-flagged containership came to the rescue of a sailboat crew in distress on Sunday amid severe weather and waves during storm Sally, in the Gulf of Mexico, some 130 nautical miles west of Port Tampa Bay, Fla.
The COSCO SHIPPING Lines containership COSCO Malaysia was en route from Mobile, Ala. to Port Tampa Bay when it received a distress call from the sailboat Yes Dear at 8:22 a.m. local time and immediately carried out rescue operations under instruction from local U.S. Coast Guard officials.
The 334-meter, 8,500 TEU containership rescued the four seafarers from the distressed sailboat by 11 a.m., and the COSCO Malaysia crew provided water, food and dry clothing for the rescued party while complying with all regulations including appropriate social distancing measures.
The rescued mariners disembarked at approximately 9 p.m. local time at Port Tampa Bay.
Paul Anderson, President & CEO of Port Tampa Bay, said, “We are thankful that the COSCO MALAYSIA and her crew were able to save the sailors and bring them to safety. Mariners saving fellow mariners, this has been going on for millenniums, and part of what a mariner is called upon to do.”
By Monday, Sally was upgraded from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane, expected to make landfall on Tuesday. The storm, which is currently disrupting offshore oil and gas production and port operations in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to hamper oil imports and exports in the region.