June 13, 2003
Most passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas slept through a dramatic rescue effort early this morning. The ship, in the Inside Passage’s Hecate Strait on its way from Ketchikan to Vancouver, received a radio call at 4:55 a.m. from the Prince Rupert Coast Guard Station. Three fishermen on the 80 ft. “Silver Bounty” vessel had called in an SOS as the vessel was beginning to sink. Officers on the bridge calculated that the Silver Bounty was 15 miles away and ramped up Radiance’s speed from 17 knots to 23 knots – its fastest speed. By the time the ship arrived about an hour later, the vessel, buffeting 40 knot winds and 12 ft. sea swells, was half submerged. And, indeed, as the last of the three fishermen were hoisted up by the armpits by a Royal Caribbean crew onto a rescue boat, the Silver Bounty went fully underneath the surface – save for part of the mast. The rescue was completed at about 6 a.m. The three fishermen, who were treated in the ship’s medical center and are in relatively good condition, according to a Royal Caribbean spokesman, are spending the day on Radiance as it sails through the Inside Passage. They’ll be transferred to a Canadian Coast Guard vessel later this afternoon. Radiance of the Seas is spending the summer sailing seven day Alaska Inside Passage itineraries out of its Vancouver home port.