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Nieuw Amsterdam Performs Nighttime Rescue Mid-Atlantic of Two Sailors

Saturday, May 4, at 6:50 p.m. (UTC-2), Nieuw Amsterdam received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center at Norfolk, Va., regarding a mayday signal it had received from sailing yacht Embla, which was disabled and adrift. Nieuw Amsterdam immediately diverted from its course and arrived on the scene at 9 p.m. local time.

The ship then initiated rescue of the sailboat’s crew, two males aged 29 and 61. The men were taken aboard Nieuw Amsterdam following a security check and provided food and accommodations. They will disembark in the next port of call at the Azores.

When it received the call, Nieuw Amsterdam was approximately 600 miles east of Bermuda on its trans-Atlantic crossing to Europe, and sailing yacht Embla was approximately 35 nautical miles south-southwest of the cruise ship, according to the Coast Guard. Nieuw Amsterdam is expected to arrive at Horta, Azores, Wednesday, May 8, on schedule.

Thanks for Nieuw Amsterdam’s hotel director Marco van Belleghem for the photos.




  • pradip mehta

    I am in same cruise sailing towards Hoarta. What an excellebt deed on humanitarian ground. This cruise ship spent 5 hours for this rescue operation. at large amount of cost but captain Vincent made the call. These two sailors were not survived otherwise. Once again, congratulations for such an excellent job. Mission well carried.

  • Almuth

    Julie, in a case such as this, does the sailboat have to be abandoned, or can it be lifted on board and given “a ride” to the nearest harbor, together with it’s rescued sailors ?

  • louise schmeiler

    The cruise ship did a wonderful job and for the captain he made a wonderful call God Bless him for saving there livesAmen. Iwould want to travel on that ship anytime

  • Sjoerd Dijkstra

    Hartstikke goed! Nieuw Amsterdam.
    En wat een luxe redding , helemaal top!

    Sjoerd Dijkstra.

  • Jaco Olierook

    I am very proud of the Holland America Line and its Dutch heritage.
    They did a great job and the crew should be proud of themselves too.

  • RachelB.

    Thank you Holland America for always being there!

  • alyce s lee

    as captain said, it is the golden rule of the seas. the next time it may be you and your vessel. the rescue operation was fascinating to watch but so where the captain, and his officers during their presentation the next morning. the captain was a man clearing in command and an expert sailor, that was not a surprise. what was a surprise was his succinct, dry and wryly sense of humor. the 2 officers were charmingly modest about their roles. the first officer, steven, who executed the ‘challenging” ( understatement) rescue operation, dismissed it but said the doing the present with “all the lights, people and cameras…were 100 times more daunting”. the second officer, paul was introduced in this way… a question was posed: what, if any arms were on board, what if this had been pirates or worst, terrorist? the captain answered “no firearms onboard…we have paul” paul blushed deep crimson. the three answered all questions respectfully and with good humor.

  • Chris Baird

    Just sailed on the Nieuw in March. One of the most professional crews I have experienced. Hopefully these two fellows have time for a meal in the Pinnacle Grill before they disembark!

  • Julie

    Almuth, unfortunately it has to be abandoned. Cruise ships aren’t really designed to tow other vessels like this one.

  • Gerry

    We salute you.

  • vince

    Excellent job

  • james behan

    Congratulations to The Captain and His crew, for Their great rescue.

  • Pradeep Mehta

    Rescue operations are to save life,not property. Also, it is finder keeper and who so ever finds that yacht, they will be official and legal owner of that yacht. It is so far out in trans Atlantic, perhaps it will sink or arrive at some shoreline.

  • virginia carlisle

    Holland America is AWESOME!!!!!!! Sailed five ships and one being this one. you are the best. Thank you

  • Gusti


  • Anonymous

    julie: thank you ! — if I remember correctly, this is not the only/first rescue or assistance at sea Holland America cruise ships have been involved in. — On a much smaller scale, we watched the retrieval of a sailor who had been knocked overboard . That was on the Antarctica/South America sailing 2010, Prinsendam : while retrieving a tender at the end of the day at Devil’s Island, a sailor was knocked over board into the fast moving sea, disappearing before our eyes. This man was superbly trained, could not swim, stayed absolutely calm outwardly at least, and the rescue was amazing in timing, efficiency, judgement on the part of all involved.

  • NOOR


  • Roberta Nesbitt

    So proud to have simply been one of your previous passengers. Such a wonderful rescue for these two gentlemen warms the heart. Your crew deserve to be praised++++!

  • Tiina Earley

    I was on the Nieuw Amsterdam time of rescue..It was very interesting to watch the crew do such a great job..I have nothing but high regard for Holland America!

  • Lloyd and Karen Kipling

    My wife and I were also on board when this impressive rescue took place.Way to go HAL and to the crew who showed great professionalism while undertaking this dangerous rescue.

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