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Stranded Norwegian Cruise Lines passengers missed ship ‘by more than an hour,’ company reveals


1 week ago 21

The six Americans and two Australian passengers who were stranded on an African island when a Norwegian Cruise Line ship sailed off without them had missed its departure time by over an hour, the company revealed Wednesday.

Jill and Jay Campbell Jill and Jay Campbell

“When they missed the all-aboard time of 3 p.m. by more than an hour, their passports were left with the local port agent for retrieval when they returned to the port from their private tour (not organized by us), per the protocol,” the company told Sky News in a statement Wednesday.

The eight passengers — including a pregnant woman and an elderly man with a heart condition — claimed they were left behind with no money and without vital medications after the Norwegian Dawn left São Tomé without them.

A passenger being kept from boarding the ship. ABC News 4
One elderly passenger who was abandoned. Jill and Jay Campbell

South Carolina couple Jill and Jay Campbell have acknowledged there was “an issue” on their tour of the island, and that the guide “didn’t get us back” to the ship in time on Friday.

“We were like, our time is getting really short, and they were like ‘No problem, we can get you back within an hour,” Jay said, adding that the tour operator contacted the captain to let them know about the delay.

Some of the stranded passengers. Jill and Jay Campbell

He claimed the ship was still anchored when they showed up, but that the skipper refused to let them board.

The Campbells said they thought the ship followed its guidelines too “rigidly.”

Eight cruise ship passengers were left stranded on an African island. AP

In its statement, the company said that “once the guests did not make it back to the ship at the previously communicated all aboard time, we worked with them and the local port agent to assist with obtaining the necessary visas for them to rejoin the ship at the next available port.”

Attorney James Diamond from TWC Lawyers said it is a “hard and fast rule” that a ship can leave once a final call has been made.

“They pay a lot of money for docking fees, and renting out the space,” he told ”Seven’s Sunrise.”

“They have times that they have to leave, those times are published and unfortunately, I know it’s morally incorrect, but they do have the right to leave,” he said.

The passengers raced through seven different countries in 48 hours to make it to Dakar, Senegal, where they reportedly got back on the giant vessel.

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