When we think of a cruise we think of buffets, tropical beaches, and more drinks than one could need.
We think of lounging in relaxation and luxury.
Rescue missions might be the very last thing that comes to mind. However, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship decided it go on an impromptu rescue mission after learning that two fishermen were in distress.
According to NPR, the cruise ship was rerouted because of a storm.
That’s when they came across two stranded fishermen.
“If you were not aware of this story, where it is truly an absolute miracle, is that we were scheduled to be in Cienfuegos, Cuba at that time,” Royal Caribbean’s chief meteorologist James Van Fleet wrote in a Tweet.
“Due to last week’s massive storm, we knew we could not operate our tenders with such a strong wind, and opted to go to a Port with a Pier (hence why we didn’t go to Grand Cayman either, although it was much closer, it’s also a tender port).”
These men had been adrift at sea for nearly three weeks when the signal light of the Empress of the Seas spotted them.
The fishermen left Porto Limon, Costa Rica and set their nets out to soak which usually takes several hours.
During this time the fishermen took a snooze which is pretty normal, but the winds had picked up while they were asleep.
They found that they were blown way off where their gear had been when they woke up.
They attempted to get back but ran out of gas in the process and were adrift for 20 days. The two men only had enough food and water for 7 days.
“Pure luck, lining of the stars, God, whatever you choose to believe, the facts are we would NOT have been in that area at the time had we not switched to go to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and you can’t help but think there was a greater plan in all of this,” said Van Fleet.
The men were so weak when they were found that one of them could no longer walk and had to be carried aboard the cruise ship.
The cruise ship sent out a small boat to rescue the men. Once on board, they were fed and rehydrated. The fishermen were brought to Ocho Rios so they could get some medical attention at the hospital.
The cruise ship crew collectively chipped in $300 so that the men could buy food and clothing when they left the hospital.
“All of us at Royal Caribbean wish them a safe return back home to Costa Rica. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already seen a Christmas Miracle. 20 days at sea should tell you everything about the odds of them being found alive. I am bursting with pride of my coworkers at Empress of the Seas,” wrote Van Fleet.
You can read his original post below.
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— James Van Fleet (@JamesVanFleet) December 23, 2018