After 17 years of itinerating evangelism to 402 ports in 107 countries, the cargo ship M.V. Logos was swamped in the treacherous Beagle Channel off Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of Argentina.

Despite a roaring sea and sleet-covered decks, all six lifeboats safely evacuated the Operation Mobilization (OM) family of 141 people from 27 countries. Chilean navy vessels answered the ship’s distress call, and eventually the survivors were taken to Punta Arenas where local Christians offered food and shelter.

The 2,300-ton Logos, commissioned by OM in 1971, had just finished a tour of Chilean ports and was headed for Puerto Madryn. Capt. Jonathan Stewart had relinquished the helm to a local Argentinian pilot to guide the ship through the channel when it struck a rock and began taking on water.

“The people were amazingly calm,” said Peter Conlan, program director for Logos and its sister ship, M.V. Doulos. Those who had served on the Logos previously said lifeboat drills were a regular part of the ship’s routine.

Total cargo loss was estimated to be $700,000, including $125,000 worth of books, OM officials say the Logos probably will be sold for scrap and replaced with another vessel.

The Logos typically visited ports where the OM team distributed literature, ministered to Christians, and held evangelistic services. It was the means of reaching over seven million people, including some in places such as China, Lebanon, and Nicaragua.

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