Travel Trouble

Basmah Qazi

Passenger describes horror evacuation on stricken cruise: “Very, very frightening”

Passenger describes horror evacuation on stricken cruise: “Very, very frightening”

A passenger on a doomed cruise has described the horror that ensued after the captain announced “Mayday”.

Speaking to the Today show, Alexus Shepperd recounted the events of the European ship which sparked an emergency situation after it was stranded in dangerous seas.

Mrs Shepperd shared a video of furniture sliding around in the ship, as conditions progressively got worse.

With waves exceeding eight metres and wind travelling at 70km/h, five helicopters were called to help evacuate passengers.

The rescue operation saw each passenger evacuated one-by-one, though once conditions improved, remaining passengers stayed on board.

Mrs Shepperd described the events that occurred beforehand, saying that all passengers were ordered to go to their muster stations, and an emergency call was sounded.

“They announced that not only had we gathered there to start putting on our life jackets, but that the captain had also declared a mayday,” she told Today.

“And being a sailor myself, any time a captain declares a Mayday, it’s a really big deal because it means the vessel is about to be lost. And so that was very, very frightening. And then a few minutes after that, they announced for all the crew to go and immediately close all the watertight doors.

“And so that’s another sign that they don’t close watertight doors unless there’s water coming aboard somewhere.”

Close to 20 people have been transported to hospital, after passengers in the pool and cafes were injured.

One of the restaurants had their windows shattered during the ordeal.

“The injuries that I saw were mostly injuries from falls that people either lost their footing as the ship was rolling or slipped on wet tiles. There were cuts to the head, cuts to the arms and the legs and I heard some people broke bones,” she said.