Tourists plucked from cargo ship tip hat to rescue team

Four travellers who were airlifted from a container ship off southeast Newfoundland are grateful after the vessel they had boarded for a transatlantic adventure ran into trouble at sea.

Container ship moved to safer waters as crew deals with crack in hull

Swiss-registered ship remains anchored off Newfoundland 1:56


Four travellers who were airlifted from a cargo ship off southeast Newfoundland on Sunday are grateful after the vessel they had boarded for a transatlantic adventure ran into trouble at sea. 

The Swiss-registered MSC Monterey had been travelling from Belgium to New Jersey when a crack was discovered in the ship's hull. 

The master of the MSC Monterey issued a distress call Sunday after a crack was discovered in the Swiss-registered cargo ship's hull. (103 Rescue Squadron )
Richard Kummrow, a Swiss resident, was travelling with his wife and two others, a Belgian and an American when the ship's master issued a distress call, and changed the ship's course to Newfoundland. 

Kummrow said things fell into place quickly. 

"We were taken over in helicopter - it was a great experience, very professional. I loved it," Kummrow told CBC News after he and the three others were flown to Portugal Cove South, a small community near the southern tip of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula and about 140 km south of St. John's. 

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax dispatched two Cormorant helicopters after receiving the distress call.

The ship is not at risk of sinking. It was anchored until early Monday off Portugal Cove South, with a crew of 20 on board, and was then being escorted to St. Mary's Bay to weather out a winter storm. 

The search and rescue stage is over, and Transport Canada has assumed responsibility for the case. 

Meanwhile, Kummrow said he and his party hope to resume their travels, albeit by air rather than sea. 

"We'll try to get to St. John's and fly out of St. John's if the weather permits, and go on our trip to New York, to Philadelphia and then we fly back home, just like normal people," he said. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.