P&O Britannia cruise ship crashes during Mallorca storms

34 minutes ago
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Cruise ship and freight ship collide amid storm in Mallorca

A cruise ship broke free from moorings and collided with a freight vessel during a storm in Mallorca, Spain.

Passengers on Britannia, a P&O Cruises ship based in Southampton, described “being pushed ashore by tugs whilst confined to our cabins” after the incident, in which a walkway fell away.

A “small number” of people are being cared for onboard after sustaining “minor injuries”, P&O said.

It said the ship will stay in Palma to allow for a technical assessment.

The captain earlier told passengers there was “no structural compromise”.

People aboard the ship recorded videos and images of the incident, showing an emergency response and debris floating in the sea.

The “unexpected drama” happened at the same time as an emergency drill, a passenger said

Passenger Gavin McCoy said the “unexpected drama” happened while “the local fire service and crew were carrying out an emergency drill”.

He said that at about 11:00 BST “a sudden rain and wind storm ripped us away from our dockside moorings, breaking tethering lines, water hoses, and causing the walkway to fall into the sea”.

“Ingy and I were sitting by the window in the coffee shop, and the first thing we saw were the blue dockside reception marquee tents blowing through the air,” Mr McCoy added.

“We’ve drifted well away from the berth and collided into a nearby freight/cargo ship.”

The storm is likely to be one of the severe thunderstorms, affecting the Balearic Islands.

Mr McCoy could see debris in the water from one of their lifeboats which was hit

The captain informed passengers that “there’s no structural compromise, but deck five has sustained a small amount of damage” on the PA system.

P&O Cruises spokesperson said they were “aware of an incident involving Britannia on Sunday morning” and were “working to assess the situation”.

Mr McCoy said that everyone was safe and there was “no problem on the ship apart from a few scrapes and bumps to one or more lifeboats that project from the ship”.

“The many people on coach excursions will be able to get back on again,” he added.

Passengers will have access to onboard entertainment and activities while technical teams make an assessment of the ship, P&O said.

The cruise started in Southampton and is due back on 1 September.

This is the second time an emergency has happened on a Southampton ship due to bad weather in recent weeks, with the Queen Mary 2 breaking free from its bow mooring line and drifting off the quay on 4 August.

Britannia sustained “a small amount of damage”

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