In support of the Falkland Island Government, British forces based in the Falkland Islands yesterday responded to a distress call by the 10,000 tonne cruise ship ‘Le Boreal’. The ship reported suffering a major engine room fire, which caused the loss of all power and left the ship drifting. A northwesterly gale placed the ship in real danger of grounding on Cape Dolphin, East Falkland. A video is available below.
The master ordered the ship, with 347 passengers and crew, to be abandoned early yesterday morning. Working closely with the Falkland Islands Government, British Forces enacted a major search and rescue plan. Two Royal Air Force Sea King Search and Rescue helicopters were scrambled, along with two other support helicopters, a C130 Hercules and a Voyager aircraft for command and control. The Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Clyde was despatched to the scene, as were Dutch tugs which support British Forces in the Falkland Islands.