Pacific Explorer has come to the rescue of solo rower Tom Robinson who activated his distress beacon, just south of Vanuatu, after his vessel capsized in rough conditions.
The New Caledonia Marine Rescue Coordination Centre gave P&O a call in the middle of the night to request assistance for Robinson – on a journey to become the youngest person ever to row across the Pacific Ocean – and Pacific Explorer immediately shifted its course and headed to the rescue.
It is the second rescue for Pacific Explorer in under two weeks. Pacific Explorer also came to the rescue of a stricken yacht off the coast of Fiji and gave emergency assistance while awaiting the Fijian navy last week.
Despite challenging conditions, the expert crew on Pacific Explorer managed to rescue the Brisbane rower, whose vessel had been upturned. Robinson was taken on board and given immediate medical care, fresh clothes and a hot meal.
Robinson was hugely grateful for the ship and crew and their lifesaving rescue.
“I’d just like to say a huge thank you to all the crew on P&O Pacific Explorer whose seamanship and professionalism ensured a safe rescue. Once aboard I was treated with the utmost courtesy and kindness by the medical staff. Many, many thanks to P&O for everything they have done for me,” he said.
Robinson sustained significant sunburn and dehydration, but is otherwise was in good health and is recovering well.
A P&O Cruises Australia spokesperson echoed the same sentiment, highlighting the captain and crew for their heroics.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our crew, led by Captain Alan Nixon, for their efforts to once again rescue a fellow mariner in distress, as well as our guests onboard for their understanding.”
Robinson’s rescue was co-ordinated by New Caledonia’s Marina Rescue Coordination Centre and a French navy aircraft was also offered to aid the search and rescue.
Pacific Explorer completed the rescue while on a nine-day round-trip voyage from Auckland with 2000 guests onboard, and is now headed back to Auckland.