Cruise Ship Loses Power In North Sea Storm

A Norwegian cruise ship sailing in the North Sea on Thursday lost its ability to navigate after a rogue wave hit it during a storm.

Cruise Ship Loses Power After Rogue Wave Hits

A Norwegian cruise ship, MS Maud, suffered a power outage after a rogue wave shattered windows on the bridge while it sailed in the North Sea, causing the vessel to lose its ability to navigate, Danish authorities and the ship’s owner said on Thursday.

The 266 passengers and 131 crew members were safe, according to the Danish Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. A spokesperson for HX, a unit of Norway’s Hurtigruten Group, said that the ship is sailing to Bremerhaven, Germany, for disembarkation.

“There is no power on the ship. The main engine is functioning, but the navigation systems and radars are not,” a spokesperson for the center, which is responsible for coordinating search and rescue operations, said.

While sailing roughly 200km (120 miles) off Denmark’s west coast and roughly 330km off Britain’s east coast, strong winds blasted windows on the bridge of the vessel, allowing water to enter and resulting in a power failure on the bridge, the center said.

“At this time, the ship has confirmed that no serious guest or crew injuries have been sustained as a result of the incident,” the spokesperson said. “The condition of the ship remains stable, and the crew are able to sail under their own power.”

The ship was currently being steered manually from the engine room but cannot navigate. Esvagt support vessels had arrived to help the ship navigate until the ship could be towed to port.

“I don’t think there is any danger to the ship now. If the captain thought so, he would have asked to be evacuated which he hasn’t,” the rescue center spokesperson said.

The ship, which belongs to cruise company HX, a unit of Norway’s Hurtigruten Group, left Floroe in Norway on Thursday and was due to arrive in Tilbury in the UK on Friday.

Support vessels are working with the ship as it continues to head toward the port city in northern Germany, according to the company. Reuters reported earlier Friday, citing a Danish Joint Rescue Coordination Centre official, that another ship had assisted with a tow. 

“Following ongoing safety checks and technical assessments, given the weather conditions, we decided to amend the planned sailing route,” the HX spokesperson said. “Across the fleet, there are thorough operational protocols in place and we always prioritize the safety of those on board.”

Rogue waves typically “come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The larger-than-normal wave phenomenon is relatively uncommon.

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