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Africa. Tourists, cruise ship passengers stranded on the island. Tourists' accounts

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Passengers of a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship stranded on an African island told about their situation. They said it was “the worst experience of their lives.” The group will want to return to the ship in Gambia.

Jill and Jay Campbell, a married couple from Garden City, South Carolina, USA, went on a cruise on a Norwegian cruise ship. While walking around São Tomé and Príncipe, they realized that their route was longer than expected.

“We thought, 'We're running out of time,' and the other people on the trip said no problem, we'd get to the cruise ship within an hour,” said Jay Campbell, who also coaches the St. Patrick's high school soccer team. James High School.

The couple said the tour operator contacted the captain to inform him that eight passengers would be late. When they reached port, the ship was still anchored, but the captain refused to let them on board.

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READ MORE: The cruise ship left the tourists >>>

Ultimately, the Coast Guard loaded all the passengers onto a boat and took them to the anchored ship – but they were told that the captain had instructed the Coast Guard to take the passengers back to the island. “The captain could have decided to load us safely and go on our journey,” Jay Campbell said.

Passengers were late returning to the cruise ship. They were left on Sao Tome and PrincipeDennis MacDonald / Shutterstock.com

A woman without money and things

After numerous attempts to contact the ship, the group is now trying to find a way to get back to the ship and home. The group consists of seven Americans and two Australians. Four of these people are elderly.

– It was the worst experience of our lives, being abandoned in a foreign country, not knowing the language – said Violeta Sanders from Australia.

The number of stranded passengers increased from eight to nine after the group suddenly encountered another 80-year-old woman who was hospitalized on the island after suffering a concussion during the cruise.

The Campbells said she was left in the hospital without money or belongings, and the cruise line never notified her loved one to contact in the event of an emergency.

“I truly believe that sometimes we are in certain places for a reason, and I believe we were put in this place because of an 80-year-old woman who was left alone,” Campbell said.

None of the people remaining on site had any medications or credit cards accepted on the island. The Campbells are the only ones who have a card that can withdraw money. They paid five thousand dollars for food, toiletries and hotel rooms.

Jay Campbell said that even though they are nearly nine thousand miles from home, he is happy to have Jill by his side. – She's a holy woman. “I don't know where the entire group would be without her strength, leadership and compassion,” he said. – It is an honor and a blessing to have the wisest of women next to me – he added.

The group wants to return to the ship

The group received assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Angola. On Sunday, he will fly to The Gambia, where he will attempt to return to the ship – but this will only be possible if the cruise line approves their request.

The Campbells said they received no response at all. A spokesman for the Norwegian carrier said in a statement that the people who did not return to the ship were responsible for the confusion.

“Guests are responsible for paying all necessary travel expenses to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. If guests have not returned to the ship within the allotted time, their passports have been handed over to local port agents for collection,” it said.

“Our team has been working closely with local authorities to find out what requirements and permits they need to meet if they want to join the ship at the next available port,” it added.

Main photo source: Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock.com

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