Nov 24, 2007

Canadian Cruise ship sinks off Antarctica

A Canadian cruise ship struck submerged ice off Antarctica and began taking on water, but all 154 passengers and crew took to lifeboats and were rescued safely Friday by a passing Norwegian liner, officials said.

On calm seas, the Explorer passengers and crew were safely moved from rubber boats in subfreezing temperatures to the Nordnorge, a Norwegian cruise ship that was nearby and responded to the distress call, said Susan Hayes of G.A.P. Adventures of Toronto, which owns the stricken vessel.

The 91 passengers from 14 countries included at least 13 Americans, 23 Britons, 17 Dutch and 10 Canadians, officials said. In addition to the passengers, there were nine expedition staff members and a crew of 54, Hayes said.

"The ship ran into some ice. It was submerged ice and the result was a hole about the size of a fist in the side of the hull so it began taking on water ... but quite slowly," she said. "The passengers are absolutely fine. They're all accounted for, no injuries whatsoever." Link


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