Bermuda investigating ship's failure to help boat

Associated Press SHARE

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

Shipping authorities in Bermuda are investigating whether the officers and crew of an American-owned luxury cruise ship failed in their duty to help a vessel in distress after passengers spotted a small open boat drifting off the coast of Panama last month.

Minister of Transport Derrick Burgess said in a statement that failure to help a vessel in distress is an offense under shipping law in Bermuda, where the Star Princess is registered.

Some birdwatchers say they notified a sales representative on the ship when they spotted a small boat drifting and a man waving a shirt, but the ship never stopped.

Two Panamanian fishermen died before a third was rescued two weeks later.

Princess Cruises has said there was a communications breakdown and the ship's officers were not informed.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.