January 21, 2003
It’s been an eventful month for Holland America’s Statendam which at present is sailing San Diego-to-Hawaii itineraries. On top of a passenger overboard (never found), anti-cruise demonstrators waiting on the dock at Molokai to protest the “big ship’s” arrival, and the rough seas that prevented the ship from arriving there the first time -- Statendam recently rescued three men off a 45-foot yacht, who’d called in a distress signal to the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon receiving the request, Statendam motored directly to the yacht, making its maiden voyage, which had been taking on water in 25 ft. seas. Ship officers and crew managed, in dramatic fashion, to bring the three men on board as a Coast Guard plane hovered. The rescuees remained on Statendam until it arrived in Honolulu. Alas, because the ship detoured out of its path to conduct the rescue, it had to kibosh its only other planned call this year at the small island of Molokai, a move which no doubt will disappoint planned demonstrations against the ship once again.