The RT Odin team were all smiles after the successful rescue operation that saved four lives.
Have you ever looked at your vessel’s drill matrix and thought that it is a bit excessive? If so, make sure to speak to one of the crew members on the container vessel RT Odin if you get the opportunity. These seafarers got first-hand experience with the importance of knowing exactly what to do when time is of the essence.
“It was a full stress situation,” says Master Marek F. Nosek, thinking back to the day when he received a Man over Board message from the Klang VTS.
A waving hand
It was a cloudy rainy day, when the RT Odin entered the Malacca Strait coming from the port of Colombo bound for the port of Singapore.
“As always in this area, the concentration of vessels was very high,” says the vessel’s captain.
The second officer was on watch when the RT Odin received a message about a man overboard in a close position. The captain was informed instantly and an additional watch was established on the bridge for a better sharp look-out. Soon after, what appeared to be objects resembling a shipwreck were identified. The vessel slowed down and changed course towards the floating objects in the water. Suddenly, the crew saw a person in the water, waving his hand.
“There was no doubt that we were on the right track,” comments Nosek.
To the muster station!
Within just a few minutes, the whole crew was notified about the situation. The engine was changed to maneuverable mode and the team quickly assembled the equipment needed to save the man overboard. Following command from the bridge, a rescue boat was launched and set course for the rescue.
“The crew acted very professional. Everyone knew what to do and took their duties without any necessary orders or questions. Time spent on drills and training on board has helped us prepare for carrying out rescue operations like this safely and as quick as possible,” says the master.
The rescue boat crew soon discovered that the scope for the operation was larger than expected. When approaching the man in the water, he gestured using his hands and broken English that there were more people in the water. It was not hard to understand from the man’s body language that the situation was critical for his friends since they were not wearing life jackets.
“Looking towards the direction indicated, we saw more, thinking perhaps there could still be survivors. The distance to the objects was about 5-7 minutes to go on the rescue boat. Based on the information received and assessing the current situation it was decided to go for the other three people first,” the crew stated in the report following the operation.
All the actions of the rescue team were coordinated with Captain Nosek in the mode of constant communication on VHF.
When approaching the indicated place, three exhausted people were discovered and rescued. They were taken straight to the RT Odin and boarded the main gangway that had been run down to the water. The rescue team then returned to save the first person, who was in relatively good condition thanks to his life jacket.
While on board the RT Odin, the rescues were given warm and dry clothes, food and water while they waited for a local coast guard vessel leaving the RT Odin ready for its journey onward to Singapore.
It’s all about people
The rescue operation carried out by the team on board the RT Odin is a good example on the importance of resolute actions, well-coordinated team work and correctly verified information. The search and rescue operation was carried out in a short time and all the survivors could return unharmed to their families. The team on board the RT Odin enliven our slogan It’s all about people in a way that goes beyond imagination.
“First of all: We are not heroes. Rescue of life is a principal duty for all of us at sea,” clarifies Master Nosek.
“We just did what should be done and fortunately we had a chance to save a few human’s lives. I think we passed this test well and after transferring the rescues to the Malaysian Coast Guard I saw great joy and satisfaction on my crew’s faces”.