Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:32:41 +0000
Dramatic video of Clelia II Antarctic cruise ship slammed by giant waves. The ship is 290 ft. long and weighs 4,000 tons, but it’s tossed around like a toy boat.
Here’s the account by CBS News, Dec 10, 2010:
A 290 ft., 4,000 ton cruise ship was tossed like a toy in the dangerous waters off the southern tip of South America. On Dec. 7 — a 45 ft. wave shattered a window on the bridge of the Clelia 2, knocking out communications and radar — and forcing the captain to declare an emergency, reports CBS News correspondent Erin Moriarty.
“We’re boaters, but I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Ken Mates. “The coffee pots and everything was flying around, so they asked us to go to our cabins, which we did,” said Sharon Coleson.
The 88 Americans onboard, many of them retirees, were confined to their quarters, while another cruise ship, The National Geographic Explorer, sailed to the rescue. Braving the same rough seas, the Explorer crew hovered close by, and in a daring effort, shot a line to the crippled ship and used it to send a working satellite phone. “It was really rough. The boat was rocking and people were falling over,” said Cindy Williams. “It was really hard to walk so it was really bouncy.”
After the waters calmed, the Clelia 2 — which never lost complete engine power — limped back to port, where the passengers seemed remarkably calm about the 24-hour ordeal. “It was just a wonderful experience,” said a laughing Linda Mates. “Now that I’m on firm ground!!!”
None of the passengers — who paid $9,000 a piece — were injured, but they may have been lucky. The voyage took them through the notorious Drake Passage — an area that sailors say is one of the most treacherous in the world.