Princess Cruises has issued a statement by Alan Buckalew, President and CEO of the line, denying that the “Star Princess” failed to aid a drifting Panamanian fishing boat.
The statement reads, in part: “While this remains a tragic story, we are gratified to have scientific confirmation that Star Princess was never in the vicinity of the adrift boat and that the boat photographed by our passengers was not the adrift Fifty Cent.”
A case has been filed in the United States by families of two fishermen who died on the boat as it drifted to the Galapagos Islands, off Ecuador.
Video, supposedly shot by someone on the rescue boat that picked up the sole survivor of “Fifty Cent” was said to have been compared with photos taken by birdwatchers through powerful cameras on board the Star Princess.
This comparison was conducted by Princess Cruises. They claim they were able to identify that the two boats in question were not the same.
Apparently the big lettering on the boat shown in the rescue was not on the other fishing vessel, according to Princess Cruises.
The fishing boat Fifty Cent departed Panama for a fishing trip on February 24, with three fishermen aboard. The boat had engine trouble and, without power, began drifting. Over the next four weeks, two of the crew died and there was only one surviving crewman. The rescue took place on March 22.
Soon after the story made headlines, a group of birdwatchers who sailed on the Star Princess through the Panama Canal during that time frame, reported that they had seen a fishing boat in distress and reported it to a crew member, but they perceived a lack of action by the Star Princess crew and never saw the cruise ship change course.
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