8 Passengers Stranded On African Island After Cruise Ship Leaves Them Behind

Eight cruise ship passengers, including a pregnant woman and an elderly man with a heart condition, were left stranded on an African island after their Norwegian Cruise line ship departed without them, New York Post reported. A couple from South Carolina, said they are stuck on the Central African island of Sao Tome with four other American and two Australian passengers after the captain of the ship allegedly refused to let them reboard. 

The eight passengers left behind have now been struggling for days to catch up with their ship. 

”We have never had an experience like this before,” said one of the abandoned passengers.

Notably, the passengers were late getting back to the ship on March 27, according to a statement from Norwegian Cruise Line.

”Eight guests who were on the island on their own or with a private tour missed the last tender back to the vessel, therefore not meeting the all-aboard time of 3 p.m. local time,” the statement said.

”While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.”

The stranded South Carolina couple Jill and Jay Campbell said there was an issue with their tour on the island, and the guide failed to return them to the ship on time on Friday. However, when they arrived at the port, the ship was still anchored, and the island’s Coast Guard assisted them in getting back onboard via a boat. However, the captain of the ship allegedly declined to let them reenter the vessel and they were left there without their possessions, money, or vital medications.

The couple told CNN affiliate WPDE that the passengers spent 15 hours travelling through six countries to try to rejoin their ship on Sunday in Gambia.

The Campbells also said that several members of the group are elderly, another is a paraplegic and one woman is pregnant. They said one member of the group had been without his heart medication for five days and had become ill.

The passengers are now heading to a port in Senegal, where the cruise is set to dock on Tuesday.

”We looked at some type of van transportation for eight people, the quadriplegic woman included, driving from here. We have to cross the ferry to get into Senegal,” Jay Campbell told WPDE.

”We just learned from the gentleman that the ferry hadn’t been working, but he said, ‘No problem if the ferry is not working, we will get another little boat and then pick up a car on the other side. And then once we get on the other side of Senegal, it’s another four-hour drive,” he added. 

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