Rotterdam Rescues Refugees Off the Coast of Florida

Rotterdam Rescues Refugees Off the Coast of Florida

While sailing toward Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the evening of Nov. 9, Rotterdam spotted a refugee boat needing assistance. The ship maneuvered to the craft, and the U.S. Coast Guard was notified. Thirteen people were taken aboard Rotterdam for a wellness check by the ship’s medical team, food, accommodations and support. Later in the evening they were transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for continued assistance.

Lieutenant Commander Ryan Wester – Commanding Officer of the William Flores – sent a note to Rotterdam Captain Bas Van Dreumel thanking him for the help:

“Your efforts by Elbow Cay, Bahamas, undoubtedly saved the lives of 13 mariners tonight. With Hurricane Nicole bearing down on the east coast of Florida, maritime conditions this evening were especially unforgivable. By your swift action and sound seamanship, 13 individuals can call themselves survivors tonight.”

Rotterdam was scheduled to be departing Fort Lauderdale at the time of rescue but was instead at sea waiting out Tropical Storm Nicole.


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One Comment

  1. Barbara Seelen November 10, 2022 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I was on this ship and witnessed this rescue. It was very emotional watching this packed raft in the high seas and wondering if they would be swept out to sea. When a life line was sent to the raft, it was not quite long enough and one of the refugees jumped off the raft to retrieve it. The crew and passengers where cheering these folks as they grabbed hood of the line and eventually were pulled in. The captain and crew were outstanding.

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