Cruise line probes claim its ship ignored fishing boat in distress

//Cruise line probes claim its ship ignored fishing boat in distress

UPDATE: Princess Cruises said a preliminary investigation found there appeared to have been a “breakdown in communication” in relaying the passengers’ message. It said Captain -Edward Perrin and the officer of the watch were not notified.
“Understandably, Capt Perrin is devastated that he is being accused of knowingly turning his back on people in distress. Had the captain received this information, he would have had the opportunity to respond.”
Princess Cruises added that its ships had been involved in more than 30 rescues over the past decade. The investigation is continuing.

Princess Cruises is investigating an allegation that one of its ships ignored a fishing boat in distress off the coast of Panama, in which two men later died.
Three birdwatchers who were travelling on board Star Princess early in March claim they saw, through binoculars, a small boat which appeared to be in trouble, with a fisherman apparently waving a piece of cloth as distress flag. They alerted a member of the crew, but the ship took no action.
Three men on the fishing boat had embarked on an overnight trip, but their vessel lost power. One of the men allegedly died of dehydration on the day the boat was spotted from Star Princess. Another died five days later. The surviving crew member was picked up near the Galapagos Islands after being at sea for 28 days.
According to reports one of the birdwatchers, who contacted the ship’s bridge and the Coastguard, was later told by Princess that the Star Princess was moving through a fishing fleet at the time of the incident. Contact was made with the boat, which asked the captain to avoid damaging its nets and the “waving” was the fishermen thanking the ship.
In a statement, Princess Cruises says, “We’re aware of the allegations . We cannot verify the facts as reported, and we are currently conducting an internal investigation on the matter.”
Meanwhile, cruise ship Oasis of the Seas this week came to the aid of a fishing boat drifting without power near the Cayman Islands. Oasis, en route from Falmouth, Jamaica to Cozumel, Mexico provided the crew with fresh water and a new battery, and got their engine started again.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:50+00:00 19 April 2012|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Patrick M. Marzo 2 May 2012 at 6:14 am - Reply

    I sincerely believe that the captain would have reacted immediately to help the fishermen if he was notified properly.
    Many times, I have had trouble communicating with crew people in English while on cruise vacationing. For some reason, the crew involved, did not take the doomed fishermen seriously and did not go the xtra mile to alert proper superiors of the emergency.
    In my heart, I do believe the Captain of that ship would have otherwise did the right thing and stopped.

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