A CRUISE ship that set sail from Southampton was forced to make a detour to rescue a stricken sailor.

More than 400 passengers on board the Saga Pearl 2 were told of the unfolding drama on Saturday afternoon.

Captain Wesley Dunlop made an announcement that the ship would be making an immediate change of course to assist with an injured sailor who was on a nearby ocean-going yacht.

The Saga Pearl 2, which set sail from Southampton on November 14, had been heading towards the Cape Verde islands but after changing its route was able to pull alongside the stricken yacht, approximately 250 miles from the Mauritian coast.

The ship’s doctor, David Townsend along with the Saga Pearl 2’s safety officer, Konstantin Doroshenko, boarded the yacht to assist the transfer of the 30-year-old casualty to the cruise liner’s well equipped medical centre.

The injured man received treatment to a 12-inch deep gash to his leg, whilst plans were made to transfer him to a hospital in Porto Grande, off of the West African coast.