Ponzi and I “do” cruise ships, booking most of our travel through Vacations to Go (although, we’re probably going to skip any kind of travel agency next time, since they’re relatively useless anymore). This morning, four days after something happened, we received this note from VtG:
At 4:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, April 5, Louis Cruise Lines’ Sea Diamond struck underwater rocks near the coast of Santorini, Greece, and began taking on water. Passengers and crew abandoned ship, and 15 hours after the collision, the vessel sank into the Aegean Sea.
All but two of the ship’s 1,156 passengers and 391 crew members were safely evacuated by military and commercial ships and local fishermen. A 45-year-old Frenchman and his 16-year-old daughter are still missing. Divers have been searching for the missing passengers and at press time a remote-controlled undersea probe was being readied to search the sunken ship, resting in approximately 300 feet of water.
The ship was in the midst of a 4-night Greek Islands cruise and was minutes from anchoring in the harbor when it sailed into rocks marked with warning lights and clearly indicated on navigation charts. The captain of the Sea Diamond and five other officers and crew members have been charged with causing a shipwreck through negligence, breaching international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment. The captain has said the ship was on a normal course when a strong current caused it to move suddenly to the right, and although the order was given to turn the ship to the left, the ship could not be turned in time. The investigation is continuing.
Oh, wow. I don’t know what I’d do if that were to happen while we were aboard. I’m glad that most of the passengers are safe, though. I’d never heard of Louis before, but we’re not quite cruise aficionados (not enough grey hairs). Been on Royal Caribbean long enough to know we probably won’t be on Royal Caribbean again – and been on Holland America long enough to know that it probably suits us best.