Crew members of the ms Veendam after rescuing a pilot off the coast of Maui back in 2015.
Photo Courtesy: Holland America Line
The captain and crew of Holland America Line’s ms Veendam were named “Seafarer of the Year” at this year’s Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards, for the rescue of a pilot who ejected from his aircraft 225 miles off the coast of Maui.
The cruise line received the award at a ceremony in New York in May.
The “Seafarer of the Year” award recognizes the skills, bravery and professionalism that seafarers demonstrate daily.
On Jan. 25, 2015, Veendam rescued a pilot 225 miles off the coast of Maui who had ditched his single-engine aircraft after running out of fuel. The plane had a parachute system and the pilot was able to safely escape into a life-raft where he was retrieved by the cruise ship.
“Holland America Line employees consistently strive for professional and personal excellence, and to be honored for saving a life is both humbling and rewarding,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “On behalf of Veendam’s captain and crew, thank you to Lloyd’s List for bestowing the honor of ‘Seafarer of the Year,’ a recognition we greatly appreciate.”
“The officers and crew performed exceptionally well and made a dramatic rescue—I am very proud of the Veendam team,” added Keith Taylor, executive vice president, fleet operations, Holland America Group, and retired Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard. “This rescue is a great reminder of the commitment all of us at Holland America Line, our sister brands and the cruise industry have in supporting rescue efforts at sea when we are near.”
Lloyd’s List called Veendam’s award one of the “stand-out moments of the gala dinner.”
“Whenever the crew of a vessel is actively involved in a rescue it shows the capabilities and the humanity of the profession,” said Sander Wielemaker, Atlantic area manager DNV GL, sponsors of the award. “The master and crew, through coordination with the authorities, were able to save the life of the individual and no doubt add a moment of out-of-the-ordinary excitement for the passengers of the cruise ship.”
Holland America Line participates in rescues at sea whenever called upon. Two other vessels of Holland America made similar rescues last year, ms Zuiderdam rescued eight crewmembers from a sinking vessel in the Caribbean and the cruise lines ms Zaandam came to the aid of seven stranded crewmembers at the Arctowski Polish research station at King George Island in Antarctica.
Holland America offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries around the world. The cruises also visit all seven continents, including Antarctica.
Original article can be found here: http://mauinow.com
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Honolulu FSDO-13
NTSB Identification: WPR15LA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 25, 2015 in Maui, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/2015
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22 - NO SERIES, registration: N7YT
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that, during the transpacific flight, he was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks. Despite multiple attempts to troubleshoot the fuel system issue, he was unable to correct the situation. After transferring fuel from the forward auxiliary fuel tank to both main fuel tanks, he estimated that there was only enough fuel in the main tanks to reach within about 200 miles of land, so he decided to divert to a nearby cruise ship. Once the airplane was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, the pilot activated the airplane’s parachute system, the parachute deployed, and the airplane descended under the canopy into the ocean. The pilot immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft; he was recovered from the water a short time later. The airplane subsequently became submerged in the water and was not recovered. The reason for the pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks could not be determined.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was ditched and not recovered.
On January 25, 2015, about 1644 Hawaiian standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N7YT, ditched into the waters of the Pacific Ocean about 230 miles east of Maui, Hawaii. The airplane was registered to Cirrus Design Corporation, Duluth, Minnesota, and operated by The Flight Academy, Kirkland, Washington, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the repositioning flight. The cross-country flight originated from Tracy, California, about 0530, with an intended destination of Maui.
In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the flight was uneventful, and a previous fuel transfer from the front and aft auxiliary fuel tanks was successful as the flight was about 200 miles offshore. However, as the flight passed the BILLO intersection, the pilot opened the valves to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the right wing fuel tank and did not observe any fuel flow. Upon verifying that the pressure line was open, he closed the valve to the aft tank and opened the valve for the forward auxiliary fuel tank, and observed that fuel immediately began flowing to the right wing fuel tank.
The pilot further stated that as he was well past the half-way point to Hawaii, he performed various maneuvers in an attempt to get fuel to flow from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to either the left or right main wing fuel tanks with no success. The pilot utilized a satellite phone and obtained further troubleshooting assistance from company personnel. After transferring fuel from the forward auxiliary fuel tank to both left and right wing fuel tanks, he estimated that he had about enough fuel onboard to be about 200 miles short of Hawaii.
The pilot stated that numerous attempts to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks were unsuccessful, and siphoning fuel from the aft auxiliary to the forward auxiliary fuel tank was partially successful, however, eventually fuel would not transfer into either wing fuel tank.
While in contact with the United States Coast Guard, the pilot made the decision that he would eventually have to deploy the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The pilot was informed of a cruise ship near his location, and subsequently diverted towards that location. He further reported that once he was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, he activated the CAPS and the parachute deployed. The airplane descended under the canopy into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The pilot stated that he immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft; he was extracted from the water a short time later.
The airplane became submerged within the water shortly thereafter. At the time of this report, there is no intention of recovering the wreckage.