A stranded surfer – who is believed to have survived a night at sea – was spotted by the crew on board MSC Damla early on Friday morning, several miles from shore.
Within minutes of the initial sighting, MSC’s team had informed Port Kembla Harbour Control that they would seek to rescue the man from the water.
Despite choppy sea conditions, the crew were able to quickly and successfully dispatch a lifebuoy from the vessel, and bring the Japanese surfer on board. He was then immediately given dry clothes and food, and wrapped in blankets until a pilot vessel from Port Kembla was able to reach MSC Damla and return the man to shore.
Kevin Clarke, MD for MSC Australia, said of the rescue: “This was, by all accounts, a dramatic rescue which appears to have enabled the man to walk free from his ordeal completely unscathed.
“Naturally, our crew are always being observant of marine traffic, but it is exceptionally fortunate they were able to spot this man waving for help from his surf board.
“News of the rescue has made us all at MSC extremely proud of the crew, and we are delighted that their quick-thinking actions resulted in the surfer being recovered so quickly.”
MSC Damla is currently at anchorage just outside of Sydney. The vessel was built in 2002 and has a capacity of 6400 TEU. It was under the command of Captain Sandeep Singh, who has worked for MSC since 2005.