Rudder repaired! Aleksander Doba back on his route in the Atlantic

– “Mr. Doba and his kayak are already on board. We are working hard to fix the rudder,” wrote to me Isaac Ansari, a Hong Kong-based company representative on Friday, June 30, 2017, shortly after 12 noon East Coast time.

Rudder repaired! Aleksander Doba back on his route in the Atlantic

by Piotr Chmielinski

– “Mr. Doba and his kayak are already on board. Weare working hard to fix the rudder,” wrote to me Isaac Ansari, representative of Fleet Management Ltd, Hong Kong based company on Friday, June 30, 2017, shortly after 12 noon East Coast time.

He decided to shift the course of one of his ships in the Atlantic to provide assistance to the kayaker Alexander Doba (Olek) who was paddling from the USA to Europe. In an unusual coincidence, the ship whose crew helped the Polish Sea kayaker was named…. Baltic Light!

The search for any vessel that would be close enough to Olek’s location to reach him lasted more than a week. Although many records of vessels crossing the Atlantic indicated that there was considerable traffic on the ocean, unfortunately, there weren’t any ships in the area where the kayak “OLO” was drifting with the damaged rudder. In that situation, the most realistic solution, however costly, seemed to be the proposal of Bartek Dawidowski, who offered to sail with his crew on POLY, the trimaran, from the Bahamas and make the necessary repairs. Getting to Olek was supposed to take about 10 days. Meanwhile, a few days before their departure, Bartosz Bilinski, a New York lawyer, sailor and founder of the Yacht Club of Poland New York, who had been “hanging on the line” with fleet owners and captains of transatlantic ships for the past few days, phoned me to let me know that the cargo ship named Baltic Light was trying to track Olek on the ocean!

“When I was looking on the online tracking service for the close-by ships, I noticed Baltic Light was only about a one-day trip from Olek, so I thought that with a ship having such a name our venture must come through!” – reports Bartosz, the sea lover, as he defines himself. – “First I contacted Lighthouse Maritime Ltd in Singapore, where I received contact information for their fleet management company, Fleet Management Ltd, Hong Kong. After a few phone calls and email exchanges, Baltic Light launched a ‘rudder repair’operation for Olek. I received the last calls from the fleet manager and the captain of the Baltic Light while hanging on the mast of my own yacht, preparing it for the regatta in New York on Saturday – but it was worth it!” – Bartosz adds.

Accompanying my messages to the ship’s captain were the exact location of the “OLO”, technical drawings of the rudder and repair instructions prepared by Andrzej Arminski, the kayak builder and also from Jaroslaw Krzeminski, who made the latest modifications to the kayak. The Baltic Light crew was immediately able to take action, putting Olek in awe with their professionalism. The action of repairing the defective rudder system lasted about four hours.

“Mr.Doba is already out on the water again and is on his way to Europe – shortly after 4pm the captain of Baltic Light, Wilfredo Milanes, announced to me in the phone conversation.

Go Olek Go!!

Photos (All): These photos we received from the Master of the Baltic Light

Previous story: https://explorersweb.com/Olek-is-drifting-without-a-rudder-in-the-Atlantic-2017-06-20-29628

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