Passengers on aboard the P&O cruise ship that collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Spain are sharing chilling stories of being whipped right into a state of hysteria — with one describing it as “panic stations.”
The Britannia has capability to hold 3,647 passengers and it was “near capability” Sunday when a storm got here brewing off the coast of Palma de Mallorca. Gale-force winds snapped the $601.9 million vessel’s mooring and propelled it into the tanker.
One unidentified Welsh woman, who was on the ship together with her partner and two children, told WalesOnline that she was “bawling her eyes out” amid all of the turmoil.
“We were docked overnight in Palma and the wind was so strong our anchors broke and we blew out into one other ship,” she said.
Confused cruisegoers had at first been told they may leave their cabins, the lady said, only to find there have been no activities available on the ship — and the entire crew on board were wearing life jackets and preparing for an emergency.
“We were up browsing on our phones in bed and heard the large horn after the bang. It was panic stations, I used to be bawling my eyes out,” she told the outlet. “We went out onto our balcony and will see debris within the ocean and all of the damage to the side of the boat and our lifeboat. The captain said: ‘Everyone to their muster stations, this isn’t a drill.’”
Soon the passengers “were running around looking panicked,” she added. “Then they got here around again and said everyone must get back to their cabins. We’re still none the wiser. I can’t see how they’ll have the option to sail it again after this.”
One other family on board reported hearing a loud bang and seeing falling debris floating within the water before the captain advised them to remain of their cabins and warned, “This isn’t a drill!”
Passenger Ricky Stubbs said he and his children were about to disembark on the time of the crash.
“We were on the stairwell next to the sunset bar,” he told the Guardian. “A loud crash got here from the bar and the door flung open with people running in. Inside seconds there was more crashing followed by chaos as people were attempting to escape the onslaught of wind and rain.
“People were being ushered in by other guests and staff. You possibly can clearly see some had injuries as a consequence of either falling over or debris flying around, and other people were distraught.”
One other passenger named Mark Beckwith told WalesOnline that the captain did “an amazingly calm job” with the crew on board.
“It’s very calm and relaxed onboard now and we are only redocking to gather the passengers whom were off the ship at some point of the incident,” he said.
The Britannia left Southampton on Aug. 18 to set sail for the Mediterranean, with stops in Cadiz and Ibiza, and was alleged to leave Mallorca on Sunday afternoon.
“On Sunday, August 27, P&O Cruises Britannia was involved in a weather-related incident while alongside in Palma de Mallorca. A small number of people sustained minor injuries and are being cared for by the onboard medical centre. To permit our technical teams to make an assessment Britannia will remain alongside in Palma de Mallorca tonight with onboard entertainment and activities scheduled,” a spokesperson for P&O Cruises said in a press release.