Then something happens that draws our attention outward. This was such an occurrence for the crew of CHENGTU. This news story from Maritime Executive gives us the basic facts.
CHENGTU, like HORIZON RELIANCE (see HORIZON RELIANCE 1, 2, 3, & 4 in the Categories list to the right of the page) responded to a yacht in distress. The yacht WINDIGO, between Tonga and New Zealand, sent a distress message on Wednesday. CHENGTU responded , along with another yacht, ADVENTURE BOUND, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, whose P3-Orion made three trips to the scene and provided the only communications link.
A statement from RNZAF said: "This is the outcome we have been working towards since the emergency beacon was activated on Wednesday afternoon. It is the result of an excellent coordination effort involving the RNZAF, which provided a link for the two people on the WINDIGO when there was no other means of contact, and I would also like to express my appreciation to the captain of the CHENGTU and the crew of the ADVENTURE BOUND for their efforts."
Those sailors on CHENGTU may have done what we all would do - but they did it. No matter how cozy or confining our shipboard world may seem at times, it's fundamentally a lonely ocean. We'd quickly realize our isolation if we were in distress. Thank God for men like those on CHENGTU! And may we be like them when we're called upon to render aid to someone on the suddenly lonely ocean.