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Published on : Monday, February 8, 2016
The third largest cruise ship in the world was caught in a powerful storm on Sunday that rocked the vessel wildly, overturning furniture, smashing glassware and collapsing part of a ceiling in a public corridor. The intensity of the storm compelled the captain of the cruise ship to order passengers to remain confined to their cabins for safety.
Quoting a statement issued by Royal Caribbean, USA TODAY wrote, ‘Royal Caribbean’s 168,666-ton Anthem of the Seas experienced “extreme wind and sea conditions” that were not expected as it was sailing south from the New York area to Port Canaveral, Fla.’
In its statement, Royal Caribbean said there had been no reports of serious injuries on Anthem, and the damages to public areas and cabins “in no way affect the sea worthiness of the ship.”
Robert Huschka, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network, who is on board the ship with his family said ‘the captain of the vessel made an announcement at about 3:30 PM on Sunday as the storm raged that passengers should remain in their cabins, saying the strength of the storm had surprised everyone and that the ship would hold position and try to turn into it. The captain then was unavailable for announcements as the storm continued into the evening.’
The ship resumed sailing towards Florida after the situation began to improve late in the evening, and by 1:00 AM on Monday.
Water seeped into the ship through the doorways before watertight doors were closed, a passenger posting on a message board at CruiseCritic.com reported while another passenger said a large white structure broke off the top of the vessel and landed in a pool.
The wind speeds that Anthem experienced on Sunday were “higher than what was forecasted” for the area, Royal Caribbean said in its statement.
But federal forecasters from NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center had warned of a strong storm in the Atlantic for four days before Sunday.
Anthem is on a seven-night voyage from its home base in the New York area to Florida and the Bahamas that began on Saturday. The ship is carrying 4,529 passengers and 1,616 crew, according to a spokeswoman.