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31st January, 2016

Towards The Caribbean

We departed Vitoria at midday on the 30th January, enjoying the more clement weather the Azores high pressure we were experiencing was bringing. However in the early hours of 31st January I received a call from our Ship’s Doctor informing me that sadly one of our passengers had been taken rather ill and with a further 5 days at sea ahead of us he was keen to ensure this passenger received the specialist treatment that a shoreside hospital could offer.

We made contact with the Azores MRCC (Maritime rescue Co-Ordination Centre) who duly informed us that a helicopter evacuation was possible, however due to the range of the chopper we would have to steam back to the Azores for some 8 hours and 100 nautical miles. I immediately turned the ship through 180 degrees and we made our way back at full speed and preparations were put in place for the transfer to be conducted at midday. I’m happy to report this was successfully completed and the passenger in question is now well on the road to recovery. A great team effort and I must thank all who were involved in ensuring the evacuation was completed so smoothly.

We then altered our course back through 180 degrees once more and I set about, together with the team onboard and ashore, looking at how we could re-arrange our itinerary so as to cause the minimum of disruption to our passengers despite the necessary detour. Well I’m happy to report that with a large amount of re-shuffling and negotiations with our port agents we have maintained calls to every single one of the original 11 Caribbean islands on our itinerary, which has delighted our passengers no end. A fabulous piece of team work.

So once more it’s full speed ahead as we edge ever closer to the land of Rum and Sun. The outside temperatures, together with the excitement onboard, is ever-rising…

Captain Wesley Dunlop

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.