In a statement, the commander of the Madeira Maritime Zone, José Guerreiro Cardoso, indicates that due to worsening weather conditions and the fatigue felt by the crew members, it was necessary to initiate a search and rescue operation.

"The information was initially received by the Maritime Police picket of the Funchal local command on Sunday, 16 January, having carried out the daily monitoring of the crew and the rowing boat," says the note.

However, on Wednesday, 19 January, due to adverse weather conditions and the fact that the vessel "was drifting north-northwest," the NRP Mondego left the port of Funchal to support the crew, Guerreiro Cardoso said, stressing that they did not require medical assistance.