Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 rescued a 73-year-old yachtsman from an unexpected hurricane over the weekend.
The New York Post reports that the yachtsman, Mervyn Wheatley, was sailing in the transatlantic Royal Western Yacht Club race from Plymouth in the United Kingdom to Newport, RI, when his yacht was hit by a story with 50-foot waves and 70-mph winds on Friday, doing serious damage to the ship. After realizing he wouldn’t be able to make the 1,500 miles back to the UK, Wheatley began taking steps to scuttle the ship so it wouldn’t interfere with other yachts participating in the same crossing.
Rescuers from Canada and the UK were all searching for Wheatley, with the Queen Mary 2 eventually reaching the stricken yacht, called the Tamarind, on Saturday.
According to The Independent, Wheatley is an experienced sailor and former Royal Marine. Upon being rescued by the cruise ship, he was described as being “uninjured and in good spirits.”
The master of the Queen Mary 2, Captain Chris Wells, told The Independent that it is standard seafaring practice to aid vessels in distress.
“We were pleased to be able to help and delighted that the yachtsman is safe and well and now on board,” Wells told The Independent.
Ironically, Wheatley had never been on a cruise before, The Times reports (registration required).
“I may be a little less snooty about cruise ships now,” Wheatley told The Times from the ship.