Carnival Ecstasy captain and crew receive recognition for rescue operation


On November 19, Ecstasy Carnival answered an emergency call from a small yacht off the coast of the Bahamas. A 29-year-old crew member aboard a yacht was seriously injured. With the ship close to the ship Captain Domenico Calise and the crew of the Ecstasy Carnival were quick to intervene and carry out a rescue operation.

This rescue operation prompted the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) to honor the captain and crew of Ecstasy Carnival at this year’s annual ceremony at the Capitol. It is the recognition of the work and care that crew members and officers on board ships have for each other in a job that still involves risk.

Carnival Ecstasy receives sea rescue award

“Balista,” a private yacht with a crew member who suffered serious injuries, called in a mayday. There were only four nautical miles separating the Ecstasy Carnival from the ship when the Mayday was picked up. Even though the ship had suspended operations due to the pandemic, Captain Domenico Calise and the ship’s crew responded immediately.

At the time, Carnival Cruise Line provided Cruise Hive with footage of when the Coast Guard encountered the ship to evacuate the crew member, you can watch below:

With winds of 30 knots, it took a complex operation to bring the seriously injured 29-year-old crew member aboard the ship and to the ship’s hospital. After initial treatment aboard the Fantasy-class ship, the person was evacuated by a US Coast Guard helicopter for medical treatment ashore. COVID-19 protocols made the rescue operation even more difficult.

The complicated and dangerous rescue operation did not go unnoticed by experts from the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS). The ship’s crew and captain have now been recognized by the association on November 2 in Washington DC for the critical role they played in carrying out a complex rescue operation.

Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Building on a long history of rescues at sea

The rescue operation that Ecstasy Carnival carried out in November of last year is not isolated. In previous years, and even before that date, Carnival Cruise Line has participated in multiple rescue operations that have saved many lives.

Just one month before the Ecstasy rescue operation Carnival Sensation rescued 24 people on a small boat off Palm Beach, Florida. The small ship, with people from various countries, including two children, on board, took on water and was in danger of sinking. Carnival Sensation crew members provided much-needed blankets, life jackets, food and water.

Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship in Miami
Photo credit: mariakray /

Horizon Carnival came to the rescue of seven fishermen on a small boat in June 2019, which was drifting off the coast of Haiti in the Caribbean. The month before, Carnival Paradise saved a sailor a sinking ship near Cozumel, and Carnival Fantasy saved a total of 23 people who were adrift at sea on a damaged boat in the Caribbean in April 2019.

Under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) agreements, seafarers are required to assist any vessel in distress:

The captain of a ship at sea who is able to assist when receiving information from any source that people are in distress at sea, is required to proceed quickly to their rescue if possible, informing them or informing search and rescue that the vessel is doing so.

With the award the Carnival Ecstasy captain and crew received from the Sea Rescue Association, they can rest assured that their efforts not only saved lives, but years of training paid off. .

Ecstasy Rescue Carnival

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