After being stranded at sea for 20 days, two Costa Rican fishermen were unexpectedly rescued by members of a cruise ship.
It’s a Christmas miracle for the two sailors, who were nearly out of fresh water and so weak they could scarcely walk.
According to CNN, the fishermen had been working in the waters of Costa Rica and had just set their nets for the night before going to sleep.
When they woke, their small fishing boat was nowhere near their gear.
Inclement weather had pulled the boat out to sea, leaving them stranded somewhere in the waters between Grand Cayman and Jamaica.
More pics to share from @RoyalCaribbean #EmpressoftheSeas rescuing 2 Mariners who had been at Sea for 20 DAYS in that small boat between #Jamaica and #GrandCayman! See last pic for story. UNREAL and so PROUD of Officers and Crew! Thank you @jleberle and @caryjames007 for pics. pic.twitter.com/VEw1tzChMO
— James Van Fleet (@JamesVanFleet) December 21, 2018
The fishermen weren’t the only ones affected by the bad weather — the Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas cruise ship was rerouted because of the storm, placing them directly in the path of the exhausted sailors.
Spokesman Ted Miller told CNN that as the cruise ship sailed toward Ocho Rios, Jamaica, they spotted a distress signal light in the distance.
A crew from the ship lowered a small boat called a tender into the water and headed toward the signal.
— James Van Fleet (@JamesVanFleet) December 23, 2018
They found the two sailors alive, but weak. One sailor was not able to walk and had to be carried onto the tender and then onto the cruise ship.
Once they were aboard, the men received water and medical attention. Neither suffered any injuries, Miller said.
Once the ship reached Jamaican shores, the two men were taken off the boat for continued medical care onshore. The cruise ship crew gave them $300 dollars for clothing and food.
James Van Fleet, Royal Caribbean’s chief meteorologist, posted several photos of the event on Twitter and explained what a miracle it was that their ship stumbled upon these two men.
“Had we not changed itinerary to get to better weather, we would never have been in that spot at that time. Sometimes a little luck is all you need for a miracle,” Van Fleet said.
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