All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened that two Panamanian men perished at sea after their boat became disabled. We are very sorry for the tragic loss of life.
As soon as we became fully aware of this incident, we immediately launched an internal review to investigate the claim that Star Princess failed to come to the aid of the disabled boat in March, after a crew member was alerted by passengers who spotted a small boat through a high-powered lens used for bird watching.
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.
This is an upsetting and emotional issue for us all, as no employee onboard a Princess ship would purposefully ignore someone in distress. It is our ethical and maritime responsibility to provide assistance to any vessel in need, and it is not an uncommon occurrence for our ships to be involved in a rescue at sea. In fact, we have done so more than 30 times over the last decade.
Our investigation has not yet concluded, and at the same time our flag state of Bermuda has also launched an investigation into this incident. We have agreed not to pre-empt their work by discussing any of our preliminary findings, and when their investigation is complete we will be able to provide more details.
Until then, we remain focused on ensuring that such an incident could not happen again, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are affected.