On 26 September 2013, Captain Kevin Oprey, Master of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, lent a mid-Atlantic helping hand to a Canadian solo woman rower, Mylene Paquette, after receiving a request for assistance and supplies. Having set out from Halifax, Canada, on 6 July 2013 for Lorient, France, Mylene had lost her anchor and a satellite phone among other items in the remnants of a storm. In response, Queen Mary 2 donated a new satellite phone and two drogue anchors as well as fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, pastries, muesli, crackers, chocolate, plus bottled water and coffee, English tea, mint tea and hot chocolate sachets. But it was not possible to squeeze in a blanket that Mylene had also requested for her boat.

Mid Atlantic Mercy Mission, Queen Mary 2 / Photo © Cunard Line

Mid Atlantic Mercy Mission, Queen Mary 2 / Photo © Cunard Line

Mylene went on to achieve her dream of becoming the first North American woman to row solo from Canada to France – after 10 capsizes, four broken oars (out of eight) and a total of 130 days at sea.

But there was still an outstanding matter to be addressed. This was remedied on Sunday 15 December when Captain Oprey and Mylene finally met face to face aboard Queen Mary 2 in Southampton and the Captain presented her with the missing blanket.

Captain Oprey, commented: “We were happy to have given assistance to Mylène and helped her recover from the damage inflicted by the storm but at Cunard we like to finish the job which is why I was so keen to meet Mylene to congratulate her on her extraordinary feat – and to present her with the blanket!”

Mylene Paquette said: “An amazing year has been capped in terrific style for me. I have been assisted mid-Atlantic by the biggest ocean liner in the world and I have now been on board the ship and met a fellow seafarer to whom I owe a great deal. I’d like to thank Captain Oprey and Cunard for their wonderful assistance while I was rowing the Atlantic. This blanket represents the goodwill and spirit of kinship which helped me achieve my dream.”

About Queen Mary 2

Christened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2, the grandest ocean liner at sea, defines luxury travel for the 21st Century and continues an almost 175-year tradition and legacy of Transatlantic travel. Sailing between New York and Southampton, England, Queen Mary 2 is the fastest passenger ship in the world and recently achieved her 200th Transatlantic Crossing in July 2013. To celebrate Queen Mary 2’s 10th anniversary in 2014, special on board events are planned for her westbound Transatlantic Crossing on 9 May and her eastbound Crossing on 16 May. Famous faces who have experienced this iconic voyage since 2004 include President George H.W. Bush, Desmond Tutu, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Uma Thurman, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cleese and Angela Bassett. In addition, over the course of Queen Mary 2’s decade of service, Cunard estimates that a half-million passengers consumed 8.4 million cups of tea; 980,000 scones; 481,000 bottles of champagne; 644,000 eggs; and 253,605 gallons of milk. In total, 22.4 million meals were served over 600,000 nautical miles, excluding the ship’s annual World Cruise, and sailings throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, New England and Canada, and the Caribbean.

About Cunard Line

Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company’s first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it pioneered in 1922.

World’s Leading Cruise Lines

Cunard is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

Information source: Cunard Line

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