Some Britannia cruise passengers to fly home after Mallorca storm crash

Thursday, August 31, 2023


Some passengers on board a cruise ship that crashed in a storm in Mallorca have been told they have to fly home.

The P&O Cruises vessel Britannia broke free from moorings and collided with a freight vessel on Sunday.

Inspections revealed a lifeboat was damaged and could not be repaired on board, the cruise company said.

P&O said a total of 321 passengers would be returned to Southampton, or their starting point, by flight and transfer.

A technical assessment was carried out on the cruise ship in Palma, where experts found “structural issues” with one of the lifeboats.

Britannia can carry 3,647 passengers and P&O said the ship was “close to capacity” at the time of the collision.

P&O said guests were asked to “kindly volunteer to disembark”.

“Together they made up the total of people who needed to leave for the ship to be able to sail safely within maritime law, given the damage to one of the lifeboats,” the spokesperson added.

A small number of people were also being cared for on board after sustaining minor injuries, P&O previously said.

The captain earlier told passengers there was “no structural compromise”.

Russ Dawson, from east London, was asked to leave by cruise staff earlier on Monday, but said he refused to leave the ship.

Mr Dawson was watching the weather from his balcony when the crash happened, as weather had suddenly become stormy and the sky had “turned black”.

Mr Dawson said P&O had offered him 20% off his next cruise as a gesture of goodwill, but he said that it “didn’t come close” to making up for the situation.

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