Ship commandeered to rescue party from Basel




The MS Schwyz was commandeered to rescue a party of school pupils and their parents on board another ship adrift off Buonas after its engines failed on Thursday.
 
The birthday party on board the MS Schwyz, which was moored at the time, was being held for Brigitta Lienert, who was also celebrating her retirement after working for 13 years with the Zugerland Transport Company (ZVB).
 
Suddenly, Benjamin Schacht, head of navigation and a captain of the Lake Zug Navigation company, who was also one of the guests, announced to all passengers that the ship was needed immediately to take part in a rescue operation, having to add that this was not a joke. He said they could either abandon ship or stay on board during the rescue operation, for which one-and-a-half hours was needed. He went on to explain how an SOS message had been received from the “GGZ@Work-Gastschiff Yellow” after its engines had failed and was drifting in Zug territorial waters off Buonas.
 
One of the birthday guests on board MS Schwyz, Madeleine Aschwanden, thought it rather poignant that it was this particular ship which had had to go to the rescue of the Yellow, which, for 21 years, between 1978 and 1997, also went under the name of MS Schwyz. She went on to say that, thanks to the expertise of former captains and sailors, the rescue had gone swimmingly, with those guests who remained on board enjoying the unexpected cruise.
 
As mentioned, those at peril on the Yellow (here was no indication they were in any real danger) were a party of school pupils and their parents from the Basel area, who, when they were told a birthday party had had to be interrupted to rescue them, duly sang their congratulations to Lienert.
 
What was noticed, however, was that, following their rescue, they did not linger on board very long and disembarked without delay after what had surely been a memorable experience for them all.
 
 


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