April 27, 2001
Passengers currently on Cunard's QE2 took an unexpected side-trip Wednesday when the ship, in response to a request from the U.S. Coast Guard, took a 150-mile detour to rescue an injured crew member on a Spanish vessel. QE2, on an eastbound transatlantic voyage, immediately headed for Siempre Juan Luis in the Atlantic – a good five hours out of its way. Upon nearing the Spanish boat, it sent a crew of six in a rescue vessel and picked up the injured man in what Cunard calls "difficult seas and potentially dangerous conditions." The QE2 is now back on course and heading for Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, where the man will be sent to an on-island hospital for recuperation. This is the second time in a year that QE2 has been involved in a rescue mission. Last June, the ship responded to a request from the Royal Canadian Coast Guard to check out a yacht that was reporting severe damage during a transatlantic race though ultimately, no assistance from the ship was required.