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Case dismissed against Bermuda-registered ship

A local investigation into allegations that a Bermuda-registered cruise ship ignored distress signals form a fishing boat has closed.


Star Princess made international headlines last year after it was accused of ignoring distress signals from

Fifty Cent off the coast of Panama.

Two Panamanian fisherman died before the boat was found near the Galapagos Islands.

Surviving crewman Adrian Vasquez said they attempted to flag down a passing cruise ship without success after they’d been adrift for 16 days.

A group of birdwatchers on board the

Star Princess reported seeing what they believed was a small fishing boat in distress and contacted the cruise ship’s crew.

Princess Cruises said that there had been a breakdown in communication and the captain of the vessel had not been notified.

A civil case was filed in Miami against Princess Cruises by Mr Vasquez was subsequently dismissed due to lack of evidence.

A spokesman for the Department of Maritime Administration said insufficient evidence was found to justify criminal proceedings.

“The Bermuda Police Service carried out a thorough investigation which involved visiting the ship, interviewing witnesses who were on board the ship and reviewing the depositions of the survivor of the

Fifty Cent which was recovered off the coast of the Galapagos Islands,” the spokesman said.

“In deciding not to bring a prosecution, the [Department of Public Prosecutions] noted that the passengers who were material witnesses to the case made a statement that the boat they had seen was not the same boat as the one recovered off the Galapagos Islands.

“And the survivor had stated that he had seen a large white ship in the morning of the day in question, whereas the passengers on board the

Star Princess had stated that they had seen a fishing boat in the afternoon.”

The Star Princess: Investigation closed

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Published April 17, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 17, 2013 at 12:32 am)

Case dismissed against Bermuda-registered ship

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