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Couple stranded in Africa after cruise ship departs

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“The harbor master attempted to call the ship but the captain refused the call”

An American couple were among nine passengers stranded in Africa after their cruise ship departed without them.

Jill and Jay Campbell from South Carolina boarded Norwegian Dawn in Cape Town, South Africa, for a 21-night trip to the African continent operated by Norwegian Cruise Line.

When the cruise ship arrived in São Tomé and Príncipe, the Campbells decided to take a private tour of the West African island with six other people.

They said the tour operator had informed the cruise ship's captain that they would be late rejoining the group, and when they returned to port the ship was still at anchor.

However, according to Mr Campbell, they were refused boarding after missing the 3pm boarding time and when the harbor master tried to call the ship to explain what had happened, the captain refused the call.

When the São Tomé coast guard took the stranded passengers to the cruise ship, the captain told the coast guard to return them to the island.

The couple remained on the island with seven other passengers, including five other Americans and two Australians.

Jay Campbell told local news station WRAL: “The harbor master tried to call the ship but the captain refused.

“We emailed Norwegian Cruise Line, the NCL customer service emergency number, and they said, well, the only way we can get in touch with the cruise line is to email them, but they didn’t respond to our request for an email.

“The captain could have made a simple decision to have a supply ship come back, pick us up, load us safely, and go on their way. They had no port to call the next day, they were just at sea.”

The couple traveled nearly 6,000 miles from home and, as the only ones in the group to carry bank cards, had to pay more than $5,000 each for food, toiletries and hotel rooms.

The Campbells were stranded with six other cruise ship passengers (Jill Campbell)

However, while stranded, they encountered an 80-year-old woman who was left in hospital after suffering a concussion and losing part of her vision while on another cruise.

The elderly woman was left at the hospital without any money or belongings, and the Campbells believe it was fate that they too were left behind so they could help her.

Jay said: “I truly believe that sometimes we are put in certain places for a reason, and I believe we were put in this place for that 80-year-old lonely woman. God help us if we weren't here What’s going to happen to that lady.”

He praised his wife for the way she brought the stranded people together, saying: “This woman is a saint.

“I don't know what the entire team would do without her strength, guidance and compassion for others. I am honored and blessed to have one of the smartest women in the world by my side.”

The couple said they were getting help from the U.S. Embassy in Angola.

Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement that while the circumstances were “unfortunate,” the passengers missed the last supply ship back to the ship.

The company said: “It is the guest's responsibility to ensure that they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated widely via the ship's intercom, daily communications and published prior to departure from the ship.

“When guests do not return to the ship within the full embarkation time, their passports are handed over to the local port agent for collection when they return to port.

“Our teams have been working closely with local authorities to understand the requirements and necessary visas required if guests are to reboard the ship at the next available port of call.”

Related Links:

Man bought a house on a cruise ship because it was cheaper than back home

#Couple #stranded #Africa #cruise #ship #departs

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