P&O Pacific Sun – Rough Week for Cruise Ship Passengers

Mike Schuler
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August 1, 2008

Passengers aboard the P&O cruiser ‘Pacific Sun’ got a little more than they bargained for when the vessel got caught in the middle of a powerful storm off the coast of New Zealand earlier this week.  The vacation quickly turned to chaos when 23ft. seas and 50 knot winds tossed the ship violently.  UK’s Telegraph reports:

At least 42 people were hurt as the P&O ship Pacific Sun ran into an intense storm almost 400 miles north of New Zealand.

Injuries included broken ribs and limbs, a fractured pelvis, a broken collar bone, and cuts and gashes. P&O denied reports that some people had lost fingers.

The ship, with 1732 passengers and 671 crew, was returning to Auckland from the islands of Vanuatu at the end of an eight-night cruise. The incident occurred just after dark, as many of the passengers were sitting down to dinner.

In an email sent from the ship during the storm, one terrified passenger wrote: “We are nearly on our side.

Although the intensity of the storm was highly unpredictable, P&O is planning on offering vacationers compensation for the ordeal.

Also in the news this week, two cruise ships carrying hundreds of passengers collided in the Greek port Piraeus, Athens.  According to the International Herald Tribune;

The Malta-flagged Zenith, carrying 1,819 passengers and 619 crew, hit the Greek-flagged Aegean Pearl as the Zenith attempted to tie up in the port. The Aegean Pearl was carrying 504 passengers and 349 crew members, the ministry said.

Nobody was injured but port authorities were not allowing them to sail until the damage to both ships was assessed, the ministry said. It said passengers remained on board as the ships were not in any danger.

This incident, along with other similar incidents in the past month, has been blamed on inadequate infrastructure in the country’s ports.

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