A Venezuelan Navy boat sank off the South American coast after it intentionally rammed into a German cruise ship called RCGS RESOLUTE, according to a statement by a Hamburg cruise vessel management company.
The incident occurred in international waters and was described as an “act of aggression” by Columbia Cruise Services.
The vessel, which flies the Portuguese flag according to a German media report, was headed toward an island near the Dominican Republic and Cuba for routine maintenance when it was approached by a Navy patrol boat and the captain was ordered to follow the Venezuelan boat to another island, Isla De Margarita.
As the captain was communicating with the head office, “gun shots were fired” according to the statement. The Navy boat then sped toward the ship and collided with it.
“The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head toward Venezuelan territorial waters,” Columbia Cruise Services said in the statement.
The patrol boat was severely damaged “while making contact with the ice-strengthened bulbous bow of the ice-class expedition cruise vessel,” then it began to sink.
All 44 crew members on board were rescued by another vessel, according to the media report.
The RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages, according to the statement.