Norwegian Dawn Rescues Two Sailors in One Day

July 2, 2008
It was a busy day Monday for Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn -- perhaps due to the influence of the nearby Bermuda Triangle. Two separate boats with ailing sailors issued distress calls 12 hours apart on June 30; a day later, both seamen were recovering on a cruise to Bermuda aboard Norwegian Dawn enjoying a steak dinner.

The first call from the Coast Guard came while Dawn was en route to Bermuda, some 210 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Forty-two-year-old Andrew Paul Giglia, a crewmember aboard the sailboat "Patriot," which was returning from Bermuda to the States after competing in a race, was suffering from shock-like symptoms and needed immediate medical attention. Even with rough waters, the rescue went off without a hitch, and Giglia was treated onboard for dehydration.

Less than 12 hours later, Dawn was again in the right place at the right time when crew received reports of a distressed ship located approximately 260 miles south of Montauk, New York. Hillary Bercovici, 55, of Greenwich, Connecticut had sustained a head injury while onboard the sailboat Misty, and was losing consciousness. Despite more rocky conditions -- rain, wind gusts up to 33 knots and 20-foot swells -- Bercovici was brought onboard without issue. He was treated by ship's medical staff, receiving five stitches to the forehead.

Both Giglia and Bercovici are reported to be in stable condition. During their short stay onboard, they were taken care of by Dawn's crew, with an evening at Cagney's, NCL's staple steak and seafood venue, thrown in for good measure. The men disembarked this morning at King's Wharf in Bermuda, where they will provide for their own transportation home.

In other rescue news, Hebridean International's Hebridean Princess aided in the rescue of a yacht that had run aground near the entrance of Loch Sween, on the west coast of Scotland.

Cruise ship-aided rescues are not all that uncommon. It's the third time in three months that Norwegian Cruise Line has been involved in a rescue at sea (granted, one incident involved a marooned pooch). And this isn't even the first time Norwegian Dawn has come to a sailboat's rescue. In 2005, the vessel was diverted to search for an overdue sailboat in the Caribbean.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor