Published on : Thursday, March 7, 2019
In a series of tweets, Norwegian cruise officials said the 20-deck ship suddenly tilted just before Sunday midnight under the force of an unexpected gale topping 100 knots, or about 115 mph.
A string of Brevard County Fire Rescue ambulances responded to the terminal at the north side of the port after the ship arrived about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The offshore incident happened as a strong weather front moved across the eastern seaboard of the U.S., generating a string of tornadoes across Georgia and Alabama. The ship had departed from New York hours earlier on Sunday.
“Several injuries were reported and those guests and crew received immediate attention and were treated by the ship’s medical staff. There was no damage to the ship; she remains fully operational,” Norwegian Cruise Line officials wrote in a statement.
The Norwegian Escape can carry up to 4,266 guests and a crew of 1,733. The ship was on a seven-day round-trip cruise that departed from New York on Sunday. After Tuesday’s Port Canaveral port of call, the ship is expected to head on to the Bahamas before returning to New York.
The response was prompted by the report of a passenger on social media, who Tweeted: “The scariest (expletive) just happened on this cruise. Chairs, tables, glass, people went flying to one side of the ship.”
Another passenger gave a harrowing account of the incident on Facebook:”All the plates and glassware smashed on the floor. A lotto machine fell on a lady. Blood everywhere. My mom spoke with a lady today who has been working cruises for 18 years and she said never has anything this bad ever happened.”
Bill Hanson, a licensed boat captain from Wrentham, Massachusetts, and his wife, Anitra, were in their 12th-deck cabin when the ship listed without warning.
“My goodness, we heard glass crash and all the noise. Then from there, the boat started listing even more — and that’s when the panic hit,” Hanson said at Port Canaveral.
In September, the Norwegian Escape was one of two cruise ships forced to detour because of Hurricane Florence, diverting to Port Canaveral instead of the Bahamas. The other ship affected by Florence was Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas.