Cruise ship freed from Bermuda reef
Published 20/05/2015 | 00:51
A Norwegian cruise ship has been freed after becoming stuck on a reef for more than six hours while leaving Bermuda.
Small boats, divers and tug boats circled the Norwegian Dawn for hours before high tide helped push it off the reef and into deeper water, where the ship dropped anchor for the night, Norwegian Cruise Line said.
"All guests and crew are safe and there were absolutely no injuries," cruise officials said.
The ship, bound for Boston, hit a reef near Bermuda's North Channel. There were 2,443 passengers and 1,059 crew members aboard.
The liner ran aground after a temporary malfunction in its steering system forced it slightly off course, the company said. It added that a team of experts would inspect the ship before it set off again for Boston.
Passenger Rachel Hansen, from Londonderry, New Hampshire, said by phone that the captain told everyone that the ship would not move until today. She said the ship was about three miles from Bermuda when it ran aground.
"We definitely felt it," she said. "We were in the middle of eating dinner. There was a shudder for maybe 30 seconds to a minute and then there was a sudden stop."
Ms Hansen said she and her family gathered essential belongings and joined other people who went to the top of the ship to see what had happened.
"We had crew members running around in a panic, and we felt like we had to panic," she said, adding that overall, the majority of crew members reacted calmly and quickly.
As the hours went by, she said passengers settled into their evening routine and the ship still held entertainment shows as planned.
The Norwegian Dawn was on a seven-day, round-trip cruise to Bermuda, where it spendt three days in port.
The situation raised concern among those due to travel from Boston to Bermuda aboard the ship on Friday, including Nicole Boucher of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.
She said she had plans to travel with her mother and young daughter to celebrate their birthdays, but cruise officials told her they did not yet know if the ship would be available.
"It was a girls' trip," she said. "My mom actually let me know through Facebook and said, 'Oh, this is our luck'."