Adrian Vasquez and his two friends were relieved to see a Princess cruise ship sailing past them 16 days after their fishing boat broke down in the Pacific Ocean. Under basic ocean bearing etiquette and international laws the cruise ship should have stopped and allowed the stranded passengers to board, instead officials continued on their way.
Vasquez and his friends attempted to waive down the ship using a red sweater but despite the fact that at least two cruise passengers saw the boys and their distress call and warned staff, the ship sailed by and never offered assistance.
Vasquez says at the time of seeing the ship:
“We felt happy, because we thought they were coming to rescue us.”
Now the sole survivor of that harrowing sea breakdown is suing the cruiseline.
Princess Cruises for their part says there was a “breakdown in communication” from the time a cruise passenger showed a cruise employee the three men through a telescope and when the message should have reached the ships control room.
The cruise line also acknowledged that under international law they were required to offer assistance to anyone stranded at sea.
Vasquez was eventually rescued, but first he spent 28 harrowing days aboard the ship that eventually claimed the lives of his fellow fisherman. In fact Vasquez himself would have perished if it were not for a sudden rainstorm that allowed him to replenish his drinking supply.
Princess cruise lines revealed after the incident that the company has been involved in more than 30 sea rescues over the last 10 years.