In a remarkable act of maritime solidarity, OSG´s crew of vessels Overseas Santorini and Overseas Nikiski has conducted two rescues at sea in an 18-hour span.
Florida-based Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG), a major operator of tankers and ATBs in the Jones Act industry, said crew of two of its vessels have been involved in the rescuing of a total of six individuals in two separate incidents occurring within 18 hours of each other.
The crew of the Overseas Santorini on May 30 2023 was notified by the U.S Coast Guard Norfolk of a sailing vessel in distress in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which had encountered severe weather conditions resulting in a hull breach, causing it to take on water, with individuals onboard fatigued and possibly injured.
The closest point of land was the Azores approximately 800 miles to the East.
OSG´s crew of the “Overseas Santorini” immediately diverted toward the vessel which was broadcasting a distress signal approximately 30 nautical miles away.
The company reports that the vessel successfully rescued a family of four, two adults and two children. “We train and drill for these scenarios all the time, hoping the call never comes, but that collectively we can come together to allow for a successful outcome when it does,” said Captain Peter Behling of the Overseas Santorini.
The following morning, the other vessel of OSG “Overseas Nikiski” responded to a distress signal issued by the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Clearwater, alerting them to two stranded individuals aboard a sailing boat adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Due to a loss of both propulsion and steering, and facing a developing tropical depression, the sailing vessel was in dire need of assistance.
The vessel Overseas Nikiski altered course quickly reaching the distressed sailboat, and rescued both individuals in a deft display of seamanship.
All persons rescued in each case were taken onboard the responding vessels and were disembarked at each of the vessels’ next port of call.
Sam Norton, OSG’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “I have been involved directly or indirectly in eight or ten rescues at sea in over 40 years. I never imagined that in the course of 18 hours we would have two rescues in quick succession. The human response to such developments is too often to diminish the significance of the latter of a series of events, their occurrence somehow becoming normalized. That would be the wrong response. The preservation of any individual’s life in a time of crisis is a remarkable and extraordinary event.”