Heroes at sea: Crew on M/S Midas rescued shipwrecked sailors in the Atlantic

The crew aboard Ålandic merchant ship Midas made a heroic effort this weekend when they rescued three shipwrecked sailors in the Atlantic, 150 miles from the coast of Portugal. The Midas crew had received a request for assistance from Portuguese maritime authorities to the capsized leisure vessel, since they were the ship in closest proximity.

– They had picked up an emergency signal and concluded we were the ship most nearby, so they asked us to change course – which we did at once, Midas captain Timo Väänänen tells Ålands Sjöfart.

The emergency signal came from the catamaran’s EPIRB system, which is a radio beacon that is released from a vessel when it sinks and automatically starts transmitting distress signals to satellites and radio receivers within range.

Difficult seas made it impossible for the Midas crew to lower their own rescue vessel, forcing them to instead fire off a rescue line to the life raft and drag the shipwrecked to their gangway to get them onboard.


Besättningen på M/S Midas tillsammans med de tre personerna som räddades. Foto: Kalle Lehtinen
M/S Midas’ crew together with the three persons they rescued. Picture: Kalle Lehtinen


One of the catamaran’s crew perished during the capsizing and his body was found the following day by a Portuguese search party. The crew had spent the whole night inside the capsized catamaran before they could find their life raft.

– The persons rescued are onboard and Midas and are well taken care of by our crew. Midas will go towards the Azores to let the rescued go ashore and thereafter Midas will continue to Florida. Everyone onboard are fine considering the dramatic circumstances. We are thankful for the outcome of the rescue and extremely proud of the seamanship shown by our crew, the company Godby Shipping writes on social media.

Those who participated in the rescue were Timo Väänänen, Jussi Sopanen, Kenneth Lindman, Julius Flemming, Rasmus Nygren, Antti Makkonen, Kenny Taraya, Ramir Capatoy and Kalle Lehtinen.