When 23 metre motor yacht Amora Mia’s engine room caught fire and was set adrift off Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, her crew probably didn’t expect a military warship to come to the rescue.
But the Royal Canadian Navy warship HMCS Whitehorse was nearby conducting coastal operations when the distress call from Amora Mia came in on June 10 at 1pm and promptly responded to the stricken vessel.
Like a scene from a summer disaster movie, the massive warship sailed into view to rescue the four crew members aboard. Upon arrival, the engine room fire had fortunately been extinguished, but with no propulsion Amora Mia was dangerously drifting, found six nautical miles east of Robson Bight.
HMCS Whitehorse, crewed jointly by the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, brought the luxury yacht Amora Mia under tow before handing her over to an inshore rescue boat near Port McNeil. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria also collaborated in helping the distressed yacht.
The photo above shows the rescued crew on board HMCS Whitehorse with Amora Mia in the background, being towed by the warship. In the photo, the Commanding Officer of HMCS Whitehorse, Royal Canadian Navy Lieutenant-Commander Chris Rochon (centre) smiles with the rescued crew of Amora Mia.
Bonus to being rescued: the crew of Amora Mia received official Whitehorse hats as a souvenir from an amazing rescue experience they are unlikely to forget anytime soon.
This isn’t the first time HMCS Whitehorse has made the headlines this year. The warship only recently returned to its home waters after playing a role in a very different sort of on-water response in Central America. Under Operation CARIBE, the warship HMCS Whitehorse assisted the US Guard in two major drug seizures. The first was in March off Costa Rica, intercepting 5,200 kilograms of cocaine from a coastal freighter, and just a few weeks later the crew assisted in the interception of nearly 6,000 kilograms of cocaine off the coast of El Salvador.