Two Amver ships rescued all 64 students and crew of the Canadian sailing vessel Concordia after it sank 344 miles off the coast of Rio de Janiero Wednesday, February 17th. [After a supposedly lackluster search and rescue effort by the Brazilian Navy]
Brazilian rescue authorities diverted the Philippine flagged Hokuetsu Delight and the Cayman Island flagged Crystal Pioneer to the scene of the distress. According to a press release from West Island College Class Afloat, parent organization of the Concordia, Brazilian rescue aircraft located a safety boat and life rafts on the evening of February 18th.
The Crystal Pioneer, an Amver participant since November 2008, located the lifeboats early Friday morning February 19th. New reports stated the Crystal Pioneer could not begin rescue operations until first light due to the darkness and rough seas. The Crystal Pioneer, managed by MMS Company Ltd, rescued 20 people while the Hokuetsu Delight, managed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, rescued the remaining 44 students and crew. The Hokuetsu Delight has been participating in Amver for 10 years. By Saturday, February 20th all the Concordia survivors had arrived Safely in Rio de Janeiro.
According to crew and passengers, the Concordia was hit by a white squall during a forecasted gale, and sank quickly.