Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Rescue from container ship off Newfoundland was an adventure, Swiss tourist says

What began as cheap way to get across the Atlantic for Richard Kummrow ended in an adventure he says he will never forget.

Kummrow said he, his wife and another couple were travellers from Europe en route to the United States trying to save a buck when they booked passage aboard a container ship that later ran into trouble south of Newfoundland.

The captain of the MSC Monterey – which left Le Havre, France, on Dec. 20 – issued a distress call Sunday morning after a crack was discovered on the ship's hull. Kummrow said the crack was roughly a metre-long and about eight metres above water.

Story continues below advertisement

"There was no immediate question of water coming in," he said.

He said he and the other Swiss tourists were rescued by a search-and-rescue helicopter and brought to Portugal Cove South, about 135 kilometres south of St. John's, while the other 20 crew members stayed aboard the ship.

Despite the harrowing experience, he said he wasn't nervous.

"I loved it," he said. "My wife loved it almost as much."

Kummrow said he and his wife, both of whom are in their mid-60s, have continued their journey to New Jersey.

He said his brief time in Newfoundland has convinced him to return to the province.

Transport Canada said the ship has been ordered to stay at an anchorage just east of Little Colinet Island, which is in eastern Newfoundland's St. Mary's Bay.

Story continues below advertisement

"Transport Canada has restricted the vessel's movements to its current anchorage until the department is satisfied that the necessary repairs to the hull have been performed," the department said Monday in a statement.

"There is no immediate threat to the safety of the crew or the environment."

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at