Orion Sailor Rescue Adds to the Adventure
Orion Expedition Cruises' mv Orion was 11 days into an 18-day Antarctic cruise when it changed course to come to the rescue of the French national, Alain Delord, on Monday night.
Delord sent out a distress call on Friday after abandoning his yacht, following which the Orion changed course and missed a promised stop on Macquarie Island (one of the major stops on the cruise itinerary) to rescue the yachtsman.
The Frenchman had spent three months alone, sailing around the world, before encountering heavy seas that destroyed his vessel. In rough seas, with side fates opened, the Orion suffered extensive flooding in the lower decks and hospital, and the cruise was cut short to return to Hobart.
According to expedition leaders Don and Margie McIntyre, the guests cheered from the deck during the rescue operation and that they had "been part of an amazing adventure that all can be proud of." According to a company spokesperson, the ship has "no damage" and passengers may be compensated for the cancellation of the remainder of the cruise.
"Everybody on board this ship has paid a price for this rescue," said Don McIntyre. "The passengers have had to give up a major part of their expedition." However, McIntyre said that while passengers were initially annoyed at missing the Macquarie Island stop, "no one ever questioned the intent or reason why we were going to pick Alain up."
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it was unlikely that Orion Expedition Cruises would receive compensation for the rescue as the ship was obliged to divert its course under the international Safety of Life at Sea. Mr Delord was apparently planning on thanking the ship's guests and crew for his rescue on Monday night.
Sources: Cruise Weekly, Tuesday 22 January 2013 & Fairfax Media