It was every cruisegoer’s worst nightmare come true last week when violent storms and sky-high waves caused roughly 100 passengers to be injured, five of which were considered to be serious.
Passengers onboard Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery were on day nine of a two-week journey from Southern England through the Canary Islands, located off the coast of Spain. While crossing the Bay of Biscay (which borders France and Spain), the ship was pummeled by massive waves.
“People were writing texts to their loved ones in case we capsized,” one passenger told BBC News. “The tone of voice in our captain… he was physically scared. We had crew crying. We had many passengers in awful states of fear.”
The passenger also told the outlet that there were passengers who suffered “horrific broken bones, pelvises, lacerations, stitches,” and that the majority of the clientele was elderly.
Multiple users took to social media to document experiences that loved ones were having while onboard the ship.
Although the ship was originally supposed to dock in Las Palmas, the ship’s captain decided to change directions due to weather and instead attempted to dock the ship at La Coruña near the northwest tip of Spain.
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But then the captain received word that La Coruña was closing because of the incoming storm, resulting in the ship rerouting back to England.
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“Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK. The ship remained safe at all times, but due to the impact of the storm some guests sustained injuries,” a spokesperson for Saga Cruises told The Independent. “All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff. While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely back, having sailed home in calmer seas.”
Saga Cruises did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.