'I loved it,' says Swiss tourist rescued from container ship off Newfoundland

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – 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 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.

“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 is monitoring the ship, which is in port at St. Mary’s Bay.