Central Oregon

Cruise line says ship didn't ignore stranded boat

Says new info contradicts Ore. birdwatchers' claims

Princess Cruises releases new video

BEND, Ore. - New video has surfaced of the rescue of a Panamanian man being rescued at sea. That same person was believed to have been seen by a group of Oregon bird watchers.

They say they reported the sighting on an April cruise to the crew of the Star Princess and nothing was done. Now Princess Cruises is saying their investigation is finding not so fast.

The Cruise line released the video and study of images taken by the Oregon bird watchers.

In a news release issued Thursday, the company said, "Princess had the newly discovered video and the original bird watchers' photos analyzed by Michael Snyder, a retired photo analyst and photogrammetry expert from NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"Mr. Snyder concluded that "the small boat photographed by the passengers onboard Star Princess is clearly not the small boat called Fifty Cent that Adrian Vasquez was found adrift on."

Images released by the cruise line show the bow of the boat found adrift was flat and the one shot by the group of bird watchers, which included Judy Meredith of Tumalo, has a raised bow.

One of the biggest differences, the name of the boat found adrift, 'Fiftycent' appears in bright red letters on the the side. The boat seen by passengers shows no lettering whatsoever.

"While this remains a tragic story, we are gratified to have scientific confirmation that Star Princess was never in the vicinity of the adrift boat and that the boat photographed by our passengers was not the adrift Fifty Cent," said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. "Nevertheless, we have used this as a valuable learning opportunity and have strengthened our bridge reporting procedures to ensure that all messages of concern from passengers or crew are carefully evaluated by our senior bridge officers."

Princess Cruises says they have been sued six times by the survivor and relatives of the deceased family members.

In the release, Princess Cruises says they have demanded all lawsuits be immediately dismissed and has offered to waive its right to seek recovery of legal costs,citing sympathy for the victims of the Fifty Cent's ordeal.

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