Cruise liner comes to aid of stricken vessel

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The vessel Santa Lucia was safely nestled on the Yarmouth waterfront on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 12.

That wasn’t the case a few days earlier when the 13-metre pleasure craft found itself in peril off the coast of Nova Scotia on Saturday, Oct. 9, suffering from mechanical problems in rough seas and strong winds of more than 80 kilometres an hour.

Fortunately for the two men aboard the vessel, when they put out a mayday call there was another vessel close by – and a rather large vessel at that.

The luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2 was en route to Halifax when the mayday call went out. As the closet ship of opportunity, a term used by the Coast Guard, the cruise ship – reported to be carrying 2,650 passengers – went to the aid of the stricken pleasure craft, which had two Newfoundland men aboard.

The 345-metre cruise ship – which has 14 decks and is said to be 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall – indicated arrived on the scene around 11:30 p.m., according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax. The cruise ship stayed on the scene, helping to shield the distressed vessel from the wind, until the coast guard ice breaker Edward Cornwallis arrived on the scene around 4 a.m.

The Edward Cornwallis towed the vessel back to Yarmouth and the Queen Mary 2 continued on its way to Halifax, albeit several hours behind schedule. After its visit to Halifax the cruise ship headed back to New York.

The men aboard the Santa Lucia were shaken from their ordeal, but unharmed.


According to the Cunard Cruise Line website:

·  113 feet longer than the original Queen Mary 

·  more than twice as long as the Washington Monument is tall (550 ft.) 

·  147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall (984 ft.) 

·  more than 3½ times as long as Westminster's Tower (Big Ben) is high (310 ft.) 

·  only 117 feet shorter than the Empire State Building is tall (1248 ft.) 

·  more than three times as long as St. Paul's Cathedral is tall (366 ft.) 

·  as long as 41 double-decker London buses (31½ ft. each) 

·  Queen Mary 2's whistle is audible for 10 miles




Organizations: Queen Mary 2, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre

Geographic location: Halifax, Santa Lucia, Yarmouth Nova Scotia Newfoundland New York Westminster Big Ben St. Paul London

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