Princess Cruises Sued for Failing to Assist Distress Boaters

On April 23, I wrote about how in March boaters in distress were ignored by the Star Princess.

One of the boaters, an 18-year-old named Adrian Vasquez, survived after 28 days at sea but his two friends died, one only hour after the cruise ship passed. Today it is being reported that the one survivor has filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise lines for failing to assist, and just driving by.

In the lawsuit it is stated that several passengers aboard the cruise ship spotted the fishermen and notified a crewmember. Despite this information, the cruise sailed on. Vasquez supposedly waved a red T-shirt in hopes of getting attention from the cruise ship. He was clearly in distress. The engine of his fishing boat had failed.

Edna Ramos, the lawyer of Vasquez, says they have proof from witnesses that the cruise ship ignored the fishermen in distress. The lawsuit has been filed in Florida. Based on maritime law, “able vessels must assist those distressed at sea.” Princess cruises is defending themselves saying the captain was never notified. According to a statement they released, “because of what we suspect was a case of unfortunate miscommunication, regretfully the captain of the Star Princess was never notified of the passengers’ concern. Had he been advised, he would have had the opportunity to respond, as he has done numerous times throughout his career.” What does not make sense is how the captain was never notified yet passengers informed a crewmember of the boaters in distress. According to a CNN article, “Vasquez’s lawsuit seeks compensation for physical, emotional and psychological injuries that it alleges he suffered as a result of the conduct of cruise line employees.”