Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-south-carolina-couple-are-left-stranded-in-africa-along-with-five-other-americans-after-their-cruise-ship-left-without-them-when-their-tour-guide-was-late-back-to-the-vesselAlert – South Carolina couple are left STRANDED in Africa along with five other Americans after their cruise ship left without them when their tour guide was late back to the vessel

A South Carolina couple have been left stranded on a remote island off the coast of Africa after their cruise line denied them re-entry on the ship.

Jill and Jay Campbell boarded the Norwegian Dawn in Cape Town, South Africa, to begin their cruise around the continent. Last Wednesday, they embarked on a private tour on São Tome and Principe, a small island off western Africa.

According the the couple, the tour operator notified the captain that they were going to be late re-joining the group.

When the São Tome coast guard ferried the tour group back to the port, the ship was still anchored – but the captain had ordered them to be taken back to the island.

The Campbells were ultimately stranded in the seaside capital city of São Tome with seven other passengers – five of which are also American – and forced to watch as the ship sailed off. 

Jill and Jay Campbell were stranded on São Tome and Principe, an island off western Africa, after their cruise line sailed off without them

Jill and Jay Campbell were stranded on São Tome and Principe, an island off western Africa, after their cruise line sailed off without them

The Campbells are among a group of nine passengers who were denied re-entry on the ship and left behind

The Campbells are among a group of nine passengers who were denied re-entry on the ship and left behind

The group is comprised of seven Americans and two ns, including four elderly passengers

One person has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

The group is comprised of seven Americans and two ns, including four elderly passengers. One person has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant

The group includes seven Americans and two ns, four of whom are elderly. One passenger has a heart condition, another is a paraplegic, and one woman from Delaware is pregnant.

‘The Harbor Master tried to call the ship, the captain refused the call,’ Jay Campbell told WRAL.

‘We sent emails to Norwegian Cruise Line, the NCL customer service emergency number, and they said, well, the only way for us to get in touch with the ship is to send them e-mails, and they’re not responding to our emails.’

Among the castaways is an 80-year-old woman who suffered a concussion and lost part of her vision following a different cruise line tour.

The couple, who are now 5,960 miles away from home, said the woman was left at a local hospital without any money or belongings, and her emergency contact was never notified by the cruise line.

‘I truly believe sometimes we’re put in certain places for a reason, and I believe we were put in this place for the 80-year-old woman that was left alone,’ Jay Campbell said. ‘God forbid what would have happened to that lady if we were not here.’

The South Carolina couple have shelled out more than $5,000 to supply the group with food, toiletries and hotel rooms, as they are the only ones with a debit card.

At the time they were stranded, they were just over a week into a 21-night cruise continuing onward to Barcelona.

Throughout the troubling ordeal, Jay Campbell says his wife has been a ‘saint.’ 

‘I don’t know where the whole group would be without her strength, guidance and compassion for others,’ he said. ‘I’m honored and blessed that I have the smartest woman in the world next to me.’

Jay Campbell praised his wife for her 'strength, guidance and compassion for others' throughout the distressing ordeal

Jay Campbell praised his wife for her ‘strength, guidance and compassion for others’ throughout the distressing ordeal

The South Carolina couple have spent more than $5,000 on hotels, food and toiletries for the group

They are expected to catch a flight to Gambia on Sunday

The South Carolina couple have spent more than $5,000 on hotels, food and toiletries for the group. They are expected to catch a flight to Gambia on Sunday

The group has tried to make contact with Norwegian Cruise Line, to no avail

The group has tried to make contact with Norwegian Cruise Line, to no avail

A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line explained that the group was denied re-entry after missing the 'all aboard' time of 3 pm local time

A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line explained that the group was denied re-entry after missing the ‘all aboard’ time of 3 pm local time

With assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Angola, the group is expected to fly to Gambia on Sunday. However, they they can only re-join the cruise if Norwegian approves their request. 

‘We’re trying to get written permission from the cruise line to re-board,’ Jill Campbell explained.

Despite numerous attempts to reach the cruise line, the stranded travelers have got no response.

In a statement to media outlets, a spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line said the guests missed the last tender back to the vessel on March 27 and failed to meet the ‘all aboard’ time of 3pm local time.

‘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 statement read.

It explained that guests are responsible for any necessary travel costs to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. 

‘When the guests did not return to the vessel at the all aboard time, their passports were delivered to the local port agents to retrieve when they returned to the port,’ the statement continued.

‘Our team has been working closely with the local authorities to understand the requirements and necessary visas needed if the guests were to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to the cruise firm for comment, along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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