Monday, March 7, 2011

Bravery and Kindness on the High Seas

I work on a tug boat and recently heard an act of kindness that went above and beyond.

While traveling up the East coast last week, we ran into a significant storm at sea that produced 20 ft waves, as we were about 50 miles South of New York Harbor.  The Chief Mate and I were sitting in the wheel house listening to a distress call that was put out on the VHF radio. A 70 foot fishing boat was taking on water. They had one pump operating to pump the water out, but were slowly loosing the battle as the water was rising.

The vessel was in contact with the Coast Guard and they were on scene with a boat and 2 rescue helicopters in about an hour and a half.  We knew from listening to the radio transmissions, that there was another fishing vessel within 4 miles of the sinking boat and they were heading toward them in case they could assist in picking up people out of the water before the Coast Guard arrived. Then we heard another vessel call the sinking boat. They said they were 12 miles away and offered their assistance. The Captain of the distressed boat told him of the boat that was 4 miles away and of the Coast Guard that was on the way out to help. He thanked him profusely but told him his assistance probably wasn't needed.

At that point, the Captain who was 12 miles away could have in good conscience turned away and headed for safety as the storm was quite bad at this point.  Instead, he replied that he was glad it looked like he had all the help he needed, but just in case he was going to head toward him anyway. The Mate and I looked at each other and just shook our heads in amazement.

The Captain who continued on, risked his safety to assist another vessel when he really didn't have to.
This Act of Kindness was impressive, even to us seasoned sailors.  - Mark Finucane

Mark - Thank you for sharing this story of daring rescue. 

Attention readers! - If you know of an act of kindness by someone who goes
above and beyond to improve the lives of others
and you'd like Roba Dolce to reward them with a large
assortment of Gelatos & Sorbettos,  tell us about it!
There's so much good news in the world and
every day people who make a difference.
Send your stories to


  1. Great story - so good to hear there really are nice people who care enough to risk their own lives.

  2. It's all about helping one another.
    Great story!

  3. Having lived on a sailboat for two years and spent many long weeks in the middle of the ocean, even the sound of voices from another boat nearby can be very comforting, especially in a storm. There is this unwritten seafaring code of honor that forbids one ship from ignore another ship that is in distress. That being said, this was still a very brave and noble act. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I can't believe the waves in that photo.

  5. Wow! What an awesome helping hand!...:)JP

  6. To all the Brave People with a Big Heart:

    This is truly and example of spreading the LOVE for our fellow human being!
    Thanks for sharing this with all the readers.

    Lots of love and respect to those that DO these acts of kindness without being asked!


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