Princess Cruises Sued for Allegedly Ignoring Distressed Fishing Boat
After surviving 28 days out at sea in a small disabled boat, Panamanian Adrian Vazquez is now suing Princess Cruise Lines after one of its cruise ships passed the boat in distress, but did not stop or help.
The 18-year-old fisherman is the sole survivor in the incident, as he watched two of his friends die at sea. He is claiming negligence by the cruise line and has filed a lawsuit in a Florida state court.
Back in February, the three companions departed for a night of fishing from Rio Hato, a small fishing and farming town on the Pacific coast of Panama that was once the site of a U.S. Army base guarding the Panama Canal. The boat's motor broke down on the way back and the men drifted at sea for 16 days before seeing a cruise ship approach March 10, reports Fox News.
Vazquez states that the men indefinitely signaled for help. However, the ship never stopped and the fishing vessel continued to drift for another two weeks before it was found. By this time, two of the three passengers had perished. Vazquez was rescued on March 22 near Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, more than 600 miles from where they had set out.
Princess Cruises have released statements claiming that passengers never told the ship's captain they saw a boat. However, the lawsuit includes testimony from two cruise ship passengers who have said they saw the disabled boat and reported it to a cruise representative on the Star Princess liner. These passengers openly recall reporting the distressed boat to a Princess Cruises sale representative who assured her that he passed the sighting on to the ship’s crew.