Passengers aboard the P&O Cruises vessel Britannia on 27 August
found themselves in a perilous situation when the ship crashed during a
violent storm off the coast of Mallorca. The incident left several
passengers injured and prompted an urgent response to ensure their
Caught in a powerful storm with 120 km/h winds and torrential rains,
the Britannia, P&O's flagship cruise ship, was moored in the port of
Palma de Mallorca. However, the moorings couldn't withstand the storm's
force, snapping and leaving the vessel vulnerable to gale-force winds.
Footage shared on social media showed the ship's harrowing struggle
against the elements, swaying precariously before breaking free from
moorings. Despite efforts, the ship's navigation failed, leading to a
collision with the oil tanker Castillo de Arteaga. The impact injured
Britannia passengers, some from falls and flying debris.
Immediate efforts were undertaken to address the situation. The
captain assured passengers that there was no structural compromise
despite the collision. However, technical assessments post-crash
revealed significant damage, particularly to one of the lifeboats. This
assessment prompted a difficult decision by P&O Cruises.
A spokesperson for the company announced that 321 passengers would
need to disembark and be flown back to Southampton, UK, or their
respective starting points.
Passengers were asked to voluntarily leave the ship to allow for a
safe departure, with P&O officials working diligently to ensure the
transition was as smooth as possible.
Passenger testimonies shed light on the chaos that ensued. Russ
Dawson, a passenger from East London, vividly recalled the moment he
realised the ship was in danger. He described how he saw another vessel
turning and predicted the impending collision.
As the ship's fate hung in the balance, the crew's professionalism
and resilience were commended by passengers. Ricky Stubbs, a passenger
who was onboard with his children, expressed his admiration for the
captain and crew's ability to remain calm and keep everyone updated
throughout the ordeal.
P&O Cruises offered some compensation to affected passengers,
providing a 20% discount on their next cruise as a gesture of goodwill.