Noordam Rescues Refugees off Grecian Coast

June 7, 2006
Holland America's Noordam picked up 22 people from the Aegean Sea -- between Greece and Turkey -- who are believed to be refugees. Their boat had capsized.

According to a statement from Holland America, "ship's officers and other crew began implementing rescue procedures as soon as a sailor working on the aft of the ship spotted a person floating in the water. One fast rescue boat and two tenders were lowered and the 22 people, all wearing life jackets, were brought aboard within 2 hours and 15 minutes. One child, who had not been wearing a life vest, was later found dead by Greek officials. Medical staff on the Noordam treated the individuals for any injuries."

The rescue effort put the ship about two hours behind for its call at Kusadasi. Turkish authorities boarded Noordam immediately. They were permitted to debark and would be processed in accordance with international requirements.

The 85,000-ton, 1,918-passenger Noordam is on a 10-day cruise roundtrip from Civitavecchia. It is anticipated the ship will depart Kusadasi at 9 p.m. and head to its next scheduled port of Messina.