Shocking footage has appeared on news websites and YouTube showing passengers and furniture being thrown around inside of a cruise ship during a storm.
P&O’s Pacific Sun cruise liner was hit with huge waves about 650 kilometres off the coast of New Zealand in July 2008. The Australian cruise liner violently rolled during the incident, injuring 42 of the 2403 passengers and crew onboard.
A CCTV camera onboard the ship shows passengers and crew being tossed around the room along with chairs, tables and various other items. One woman is seen hitting her head on a pillar and collapsing.
Injuries sustained included broken ribs and limbs, a fractured pelvis and cuts. Many of the worst injuries were caused when gambling machines crashed on top of people.
Holidaymaker Elizabeth Basher told The Daily Telegraph of how she sustained a fractured knee during the incident.
“We were getting a pre-dinner drink at the bar, moved to a safe place to be on the carpet to get some traction, and suddenly it happened, and we were just thrown across towards a plate-glass window,” she said.
Others recalled hearing screams and cries and said it was “like being in a disaster movie”. The ship was returning from the islands of Vanuatu after an eight-night cruise. It was turning into the storm when its side was hit with huge waves, causing it to violently roll, shortly after dark when many people were sitting down to dinner.
A spokesman for Carnival Australia, who represents P&O, denies the footage is new and says the ship encountered “extreme” circumstances.
“A series of waves buffeted the ship, having an impact for people onboard,” spokesman David Johns said.
“This was an exceptionally rare occurrence…The incident was fully investigated and lessons learnt have been heeded, including the securing of tables and other furnishings aboard.”
Passengers and crew were offered counseling and thankfully the ship itself was not badly damaged.
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