A significant number of British military assets acting on behalf of the Falkland Islands government were involved in the rescue of up to 79 passengers off the crippled cruise ship La Boreal following a fire in the ship’s engine room. 347 passengers and crew were aboard the French owned vessel travelling between Grave Cove and South Georgia when the alarm was raised in the very early hours of the morning. The vessels owners have stated that the fire was quickly brought under control and that passengers were evacuated to life rafts as a precautionary measure.
In all, the British rescue effort involved two Royal Air Force Sea King search and rescue helicopters, two civilian owned support helicopters, a Hercules transport aircraft and a Voyager aircraft for command and control duties. Surface assets included the Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Clyde supported by Dutch tugs which are chartered to British forces on the Falklands. The British rescuers had to act quickly as a north-westerly gale placed the crippled ship in danger of grounding on Cape Dolphin, East Falkland.
The rescue operation was coordinated from RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands.