Cruise ship captain and crew honored for 2017 gulf rescue

Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 15:35:03-04

The captain and crew of a Carnival cruise ship that rescued a fisherman from a sinking boat in the Gulf of Mexico last year during Hurricane Irma have been recognized for their bravery by the Association for Rescue at Sea.

The organization awarded the captain and his team with the Cruise Line Humanitarian Assistance Award for their rescue attempts that saved the life of one fisherman aboard a sinking vessel.

While sailing from the Bahamas ahead of Hurricane Irma’s approach, the ship received a relayed distress message from the United States Coast Guard about a fishing boat taking on water 60 miles to the east, according to Carnival. At the time of the alert, Irma was classified as a Category 5 storm.

According to a release, the alert stated that two fishermen were in need of assistance and the Elation’s captain and crew went out to assist the vessel.

The cruise ship was without its normal navigation and communication equipment, according to Carnival, as it made its way through 15 to 20-foot waves and wind which was said to be gusting between 40 and 60 knots.

Carnival says the cruise ship was able to rescue one of the trapped fishermen by pulling him from a life raft and onto the ship via a shell door in the hull.

The man informed them that the other fisherman refused to leave the sinking boat and was lost as the boat quickly sank.

At the award ceremony, the Carnival Elation’s captain was reunited with the fisherman that they saved.