A Royal Caribbean Cruises vessel has rescued two stranded fishermen who had been adrift in the waters between Jamaica and Grand Cayman for 20 days.
The rescue took place in the late evening hours of Friday, December 21 (local time), after Empress of the Seas spotted a signal light originating from the distressed fishing boat.
The cruise ship then sailed toward the fishing boat and launched a tender to evacuate the stranded sailors, who have been at sea ever since they left Costa Rica on December 1.
The sailors claimed that strong winds had pushed their boat a considerable distance from where they were supposed to cast their nets. An earlier attempt to return to shore ended in failure as their boat ran out of fuel while still at sea.
The rescued fishermen were brought on board Empress of the Seas and were given food, water, and medical attention. They were later dropped off at the ship’s final destination of Ocho Rios in Jamaica.
Adverse weather conditions along Empress of the Seas’ original route had earlier forced Royal Caribbean to change its itinerary, thereby leading to the chance encounter between the massive 11-deck cruise ship and the small fishing boat in what some have described as “a Christmas miracle.”