Posted March 16th, 2009, 07:30 AM
Captain Emmanuel Psarrakis was on Destiny in the Caribbean in December, and I think he said he was there for the whole of the season. He is Greek and has been a sailor since the age of 14. He told us he used to be a very ordinary seaman on one of Aristotle Onassis's ships when he was young. He is an absolutely lovely man, very chatty and friendly and he enjoys flirting gently with all the ladies, especially the "more mature" ones! My mother thought he was charming!
While we were onboard Destiny's first transatlantic voyage for I think, 7 years last December, there was an emergency at sea. A small yacht, called The Taurus of Wyre had been badly damaged in a storm and had been drifting for 3 days in terrible seas. The two people onboard really feared for their lives. They had put out calls for assistance but were in an area with very little shipping - except for Destiny! Apparently a cargo ship had picked up their call 2 days previously, told them there were very few ships near them, wished them good luck and carried on it's way!!!
When Captain Psarrakis picked up the distress call he immediately diverted Destiny to rescue the two people, a British man and his girlfriend. It was quite a tricky manoevre but they were brought onboard Destiny, unharmed but very relieved.
As their yacht was so badly damaged and was not sailable, it had to be scuttled as it would have been a hazard to other shipping if left to drift. So as the man climbed the ladder on to Destiny, his last action was to "pull the plug" on his yacht and it very quickly sank. I believe the first thing the couple asked for was a Gin and Tonic!
They were checked out by the Doctor onboard, but were fine, if a little shocked! It would have been a very different story had Destiny not diverted to rescue them though.We took the couple with us to our first port of call, Barbados where they disembarked the ship and I don't know what happened to them from there.
It was all very exciting for the crew and passengers though and Captain Psarrakis said it was the first time he had been involved in a rescue at sea in his 40 odd years as a sailor. He received a standing ovation from all the passengers in the evening and was very embarrassed by our praise.