We mostly think of Vanuatu as a flag of convenience state, not a port of refuge but that is what it has become for the P&O cruise ship Pacific Star. The decision was made to pull into port and fly the passengers home after sustaining damage during a pacific storm with winds of over 50knots and seas over 30ft. The fact that the damage was sustained only hours after departing Auckland has many questioning the Captain’s decision to sail.
ABC News of Australia tells us:
The Pacific Star ran into a wild storm that damaged the ship’s bow, as well as some windows, doors and satellite equipment. Many of the 1,200 passengers on board were sea sick, some questioning why the cruise was not postponed.
The ship canceled a scheduled visit to New Caledonia and made instead for Port Vila from where P and O Cruises is now trying to arrange return flights for its shaken holiday makers who will all receive refunds.
A company spokeswoman says its the first time in 10 years a cruise has been abandoned because of bad weather.
This comes after a long line of maritime incidents this week:
- Trouble in Paradise, Ro-Ro Sinks Off Ibiza Spain
- Ital Florida – Container Casualties
- Tanker Grounded off Coney Island, NY
- Boston Ferry Collision
- Ship Sinks Off Guam – Dozens Missing
- S Korean ship ‘sinks off Iran’
- Philippine ferry sinks, at least 13 dead