CruisePassengers praised the crew's calm response after 321 guests were safely evacuated.

P&O Cruises applauded for swift emergency response after collision

During a violent storm off Mallorca, the Britannia collided with an oil tanker.
During a violent storm off Mallorca, the Britannia collided with an oil tanker.

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 safety.

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.

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