Friday, November 23, 2007

154 rescued after boat hits ice-berg

A cruise ship is sinking in the Antarctic Ocean after hitting an object. The 1st expedition cruise ship in the world ran into trouble at around 5 a.m GMT Friday morning and passengers were put into lifeboats. Built in 1969, the Explorer was specifically designed for Antarctic sailing and is operated by Gap Adventures based in Toronto [BBC].

All 154 passengers and crew on board are said to have been evacuated and placed into lifeboats. CNN reported the weather as calm off the South Shetland Islands where the incident occurred with temperatures at -5 degrees Celsius. The rescue operation was being coordinated by the Argentinean Coastguard with the assistance of the British coastguard in Falmouth. At least one rescue boat, the Endeavour, was said to be on scene with another making its way [Sky News]. According to latest reports the boat hit an ice-berg. Members of the crew are also said to be remaining on board helping to pump out water from the stricken vessel.

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