Today, the Guardian in Great Britain published an article by Gwyn Topham, the author of the book Overboard: The Stories Cruise Lines Don't Want Told, published by Random House Australia
Death on the high seas
...In the last days of the Vietnam war, Hue Pham and his wife Hue Tran spent two perilous weeks on a cramped container ship, adrift with no food and little water in the South China Sea. The couple survived this desperate flight from Vietnam, built a new life in America, and then, three decades later, decided to take a Caribbean cruise on a ship called the Carnival Destiny. This was the boat journey that they would not survive.
The facts of the couple's disappearance, as the Destiny sailed between Barbados and Aruba on May 12 2005, are few. After a fruitless on-board search, the ship eventually retraced its path, joined by the US coastguard. No trace of their bodies was ever found.
For the relatives, the deaths left a terrible, insoluble puzzle. Their son, Son Michael Pham, maintained that his parents had no reason to take their own lives and were in fact planning a trip back to Vietnam, and were looking forward to meeting relatives again. "Two American citizens with no personal or financial problems, no serious health problems, living the happiest time of their lives, both vanished without a trace or witness," he later told an inquiry.
The cruise had been a Mother's Day gift to the couple, and they were on board ship with their daughter and granddaughter. "I immediately flew down to California, went through their home, and tried to find one clue, something unusual. I could not," Son Michael says now.
Since then, with the help of two other bereaved families, Son Michael has helped establish a group called the www.InternationalCruiseVictims.org