Cruise Liner Did Not Heed Passenger Alert of Fishing Boat Distress
Princess Cruises apologizes after one of its ships fails to help stranded Panama fishermen
An American cruise line has said it "deeply regrets" the deaths of two Panamanian fishermen amid claims that one of its cruise ships failed to help their stranded boat, according to a CNN report.
Princess Cruises said passengers on the Star Princess apparently alerted a crew member to the disabled fishing boat in March, but initial indications are that the captain was never told. Later that month, the Ecuadorian navy rescued the only survivor of what was meant to be an overnight fishing trip, 18-year-old Adrian Vasquez, after 28 days adrift.
Since then, pressure has grown on the cruise line from local and international media to explain why it failed to help.
Broadcaster NPR first reported the claim by three passengers, all bird-watchers, that they had spotted the castaways and told cruise ship staff but had seen no action taken.
A reporter with the Panama-Guide.com website confirmed with Vasquez that he and his two friends, who at that point were still alive, had tried to attract the attention of the passing cruise ship.
Princess Cruises "deeply regrets that two Panamanian men perished at sea," its statement Thursday said.