A Venezuela navy patrol ship capsized after colliding with a cruise ship in the Caribbean on Monday, March 30. The incident happened ear La Tortuga Island, a Venezuelan federal dependency, shortly before midnight.
The owners of the Portuguese-flagged RCGS Resolute said the ship sustained minor damage to its hull. Venezuelan authorities had ordered the ship to change course. The authorities accused the ship of an act of “aggression and piracy” saying they “did not rule out” that the cruise ship “was transporting mercenaries to attack military bases in Venezuela”.
Columbia Cruise Services, which operates the cruise ship, said the cruise ship had been carrying out routine engine maintenance in international waters when the incident.
“While the master was in contact with the head office, gunshots were fired and, shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed… and purposely collided with the RCGS Resolute” part of the statement read.
All the crew were rescued from the patrol boat. President Maduro said an investigation had been launched and he expected “maximum collaboration” from authorities.