Our thanks to our seafarers aboard the Stolt Sea, who recently came to the aid of a distressed boat off the coast of Florida. The officer on watch noticed the small boat passing through the Florida Strait and that its passengers were indicating that they were in trouble and needed help.
He quickly informed the Master who noticed that the boat was indeed sinking, and that quick action was needed to save those onboard, including men, women and children. The crew of the Stolt Sea wasted no time in safely launching a rescue operation and coming alongside the distressed vessel. Within half an hour the passengers, who had been without food and water for several days, were evacuated, given food and water and made comfortable aboard the Stolt Sea until they could be transferred to a US Coast Guard vessel.
Reacting to the rescue, Maren Schroeder Managing Director of Stolt Tankers said: “I am extremely proud and happy to have colleagues like the team onboard Stolt Sea. Thanks to their high levels of awareness of their surroundings and professionalism lives were saved. I am also grateful to the US Coast Guard for their timely response and support during the rescue operation, which enabled our ship to safely continue on her voyage.”
The Stolt crew also received special thanks from the Deputy Commander of USCG Sector Key West, Richard P. Armstrong. He said: “I would like to thank you and the crew of Stolt Sea for stopping on Wednesday July 27th, to render assistance to the 14 Cuban nationals who were stranded at sea on their vessel 70 miles south of Key West, Florida. Had your crew not spotted them and then stopped to render assistance, it is very possible that they may have capsized and been lost at sea forever. I am confident that your actions and those of your crew saved the lives of these 14 people, and I thank you for placing such importance on their safety.
“I am well aware that not all vessels would have stopped to render assistance, and then taken the time to transfer them to our Coast Guard cutter, making your actions all the more admirable for taking such selfless actions. On behalf of the over 700 Coast Guard men and women stationed throughout the Florida Keys, thank you for being Semper Paratus – Always Ready.”