48 students and 16 staff members are safely back on their home soil after their Canadian School Ship, the 180-foot Concordia, was knocked down and foundered about 300 miles off the coast of Brazil. The 64 people spent 48 hours in life rafts before being rescued by merchant ship diverted by the Amver mutual assistance network.
Feb. 17, 10:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m. ET: Well-trained in emergency procedures, students and staff board life-rafts, at one point using a kitchen knife to cut the straps of the rescue crafts that are pinned under the water. According to Rob MacDonald, the ship’s second mate, practice drills help save lives. “It went over so fast, it happened so quickly. That everybody managed to get off safely, it would not have happened with a lesser calibre of people and crew,” he says. “The training everybody went through was very rigorous and it paid off.”