Miracle at Sea: Two fishermen rescued by cruise ship after being stranded for 20 days

Florida

Two fishermen stranded at sea were miraculously rescued in the Caribbean by a cruise ship that veered off course to avoid severe storms.

Royal Caribbean Chief Meteorologist James Van Fleet says the strong winds blew the unidentified Costa Rican fishermen away from their gear after they set their nets and fell asleep.

The men had left from Porto Limon, east of San José, and ran out of gas trying to return, Van Fleet said.

The pair had enough food and water for seven days, he said.

“After that, water was the primary issue, and they tried to fish for food,” Van Fleet said.

Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Empress of the Seas, which had been scheduled to sail to Cienfuegos, Cuba, changed course after a powerful storm swept across the area last week and found the fishermen en route to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Van Fleet said.

“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,” he said.

After being rescued Friday, one of the fishermen couldn’t walk, Van Fleet said. But by the time Empress of the Seas arrived in Jamaica for medical treatment, Van Fleet said, the fisherman had recovered enough that he could walk on his own.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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