Stricken cruise liner heads to safety

14th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 February 2005, BARCELONA-A cruise ship with some 750 people on board, struggling through a violent storm in the Mediterranean Sea, headed to the Italian island of Sardinia after crewmen restarted at least one engine, officials said.

14 February 2005

BARCELONA-A cruise ship with some 750 people on board, struggling through a violent storm in the Mediterranean Sea, headed to the Italian island of Sardinia after crewmen restarted at least one engine, officials said.

Several people were slightly injured aboard the Bahamas-registered Grand
Voyager as it battled high winds and huge waves, French maritime officials
said.

The injured, including one person with a broken leg, were treated by the
ship's doctor as the liner headed for the Sardinian port of Cagliari, where it
was expected to arrive late on Monday or early Tuesday.

Earlier, ships and aircraft from France, Spain and Britain deployed to help the ocean liner, which was chartered by Spanish tour operator Iberojet for a seven-day Mediterranean cruise.

The cruise liner was in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea near Sardinia, having made it part of the way from Tunisia to its destination of Barcelona, Spain.

Force 11 winds of 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour and waves as high as 14 meters (46 feet) battered the vessel, which had one of its two propellers shut down, French officials said.

According to the British company V. Ships, which is in charge of the Voyager's mechanical upkeep, a large wave smashed glass on the rear deck of the cruise vessel, shorting out its communications and engine controls.

Spanish maritime officials said the Grand Voyager's had manually restarted two of the ship's four engines, but V. Ships said only one was operational.

A British gas tanker, the Gimi, and a French naval ship were escorting the Grand Voyager -which still has no communications sysytems - to Sardinia.

The exact number of people aboard the ship was unclear. Iberojet put the
number aboard at 790, with 477 passengers and 313 crew. V. Ships said there
were 480 passengers and 296 crew on board. 

Earlier, France coordinated efforts to help the ship.

The Gimi was re-routed to the stricken Voyager. Spain dispatched a plane
and a tug, while France had deployed two planes.

The ship left Tunisia on Sunday and had been due to dock in Barcelona on
Monday before continuing on the cruise.

Iberojet did not say how passengers would reach their final destination, or
if they would be compensated.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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