Three Canadians are safe and sound in Hawaii Thursday after a giant container ship rescued them from the pacific during a raging storm the night before.
Brad James, 32, his nine-year-old son West and Brad’s brother, Mitch, were all rescued 450 kilometers northeast of Hilo, Hawaii traveling from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on their sailboat named Liahona. In the storm their engine failed and their mast broke leaving them stranded.
“I’m great, just incredible,” Brad James told CBC news. “There was a while there we didn’t think we’d step foot on land and we’re here now.”
A large container ship, the Horizon Reliance, was located roughly 240 kilometres away and was calling in by the Coast Guard. The company that owns the vessel, Horizon Lines, is a member of a voluntary program that provides help to distressed boats and ships that become stranded at sea.
“Capt. James Kelleher and the crew of the 893-ft. Horizon Reliance container ship were directed by the U.S. Coast Guard to alter course at full speed to assist the 33-ft. sailboat and its crew of three,” Horizon Lines said in a news release.
The container ship arrived at about 2:30 a.m. and the crew managed to pull one of the older men to safety but when the huge container ship approached the small sailboat the two ended up colliding, sending the remaining two on board into the water.
Commander Mark Morin of the U.S. Coast Guard said: “They were maneuvering to pick up the passengers and as it became closer to the sailing vessel, they collided somehow. All three people ended up in the water.”
Luckily the young boy and one of the older men had on life jackets with strobe lights so the crew of the container ship were able to locate them in the dark.
By 3:20am, the remaining two Canadians were also brought to safety.