DubaiSailors Rescued Near Socotra byYemeni Fisherman After Boat Drifts

In a heart-pounding ordeal off the coast of Yemen, a seasoned sailing instructor and his wife were plucked from perilous waters by vigilant fishermen as they embarked on a daring voyage from East Africa to the UAE.

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A Daring Rescue Amidst Treacherous Seas

Dacey Calisura and Jethro Friggens, joined by two companions, set sail upon their Catalina vessel, named Freya, from Kenya with aspirations of reaching their Dubai abode. The ambitious 2,900 nautical mile journey, spanning 5,370 kilometers, was envisioned to span approximately 25 days, charting a course through the Indian Ocean, skirting the Somali Coast, and pausing briefly at the enchanting Socotra island.

Navigating Perilous Waters: A Voyage of Determination and Hope

As fate would have it, their maritime odyssey veered into a realm notorious for piracy, a region witnessing numerous incidents over the years in the Gulf of Aden, the Guardafui Channel, and Somali Sea. Battling through tumultuous conditions encompassing relentless 30-knot winds and towering five-meter waves, their 1995 Catalina vessel, Freya, encountered its reckoning when steerage control faltered. A manifestation of tenacity and teamwork, the crew found themselves adrift in tempestuous seas after their autopilot faltered.

Piracy's Perilous Playground: Battling Challenges on the Somali Seas

Dacey Calisura recounted their ordeal, stating, "The initial leg of our voyage was a triumph, navigating the harsh weather and turbulent waters sans autopilot. However, as Socotra's shores beckoned, our steering faltered, leaving us at the mercy of the elements. Stranded and buffeted by currents, we found ourselves adrift, our situation increasingly dire."

When Autopilot Fails: Adrift in Nature's Wrath

Amidst the turmoil, a mayday signal was dispatched and sustained communication with the UK coastguard was upheld through a satellite phone. Isolated amidst the vast expanse, the crew's predicament was communicated to concerned contacts in Socotra via daily updates relayed from Dubai, culminating in a resourceful rescue initiative orchestrated by local fishermen. While large shipping vessels and naval patrols lingered distantly, it was a steadfast wooden dhow that embarked on a relentless 9-hour search, ultimately spotting the imperiled vessel and facilitating a lifesaving tow.

Mayday Echoes: A Desperate Call to the UK Coastguard

Bearing witness to this dramatic rescue, Calisura exclaimed, "We were awestruck to find a fishing dhow venturing so far into treacherous waters. The determination of these fishermen was awe-inspiring. With sheer grit, they embarked onto our vessel, deftly attaching tow ropes that guided us to the safety of solid ground. Tossed like a mere plaything by tempestuous waves, our journey felt surreal until our feet touched the shore. It was a test of our resilience and an experience underscored by unwavering faith."

Fishermen to the Rescue: Civilians Become Unsung Heroes

After a tense 22-hour rescue operation that spanned approximately 92 kilometers, the beleaguered vessel finally found refuge on July 28. Currently undergoing essential repairs, the crew aspires to navigate Freya back to the UAE, charting a course via Salalah in Oman, a testament to their indomitable spirit and passion for sailing. As they prepare to resume their everyday lives in Dubai, they fondly reflect on their unprecedented rescue by civilian fishermen, echoing Calisura's sentiment, "Leaving our vessel behind is a poignant moment, but life beckons. The fishermen's valor was our lifeline. We remain forever indebted to their heroism."

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