Passengers aboard the MS Maud, the Hurtigruten ship smashed by 22 metre waves which knocked out the engines, have heaped praise on the crew for their work as the vessel was tossed in the storm.
Passengers travelling home for Christmas have described scenes of turmoil. The ship was damaged by waves so high, guests on deck give feared the glass would cave in.
The Maud was sailing some 260 kilometres off Denmark’s west coast when she was smashed by waves and water entered the bridge, resulting in a power outage. While the vessel’s main engine was still functioning, the ship was steered manually from the engine room.
The bridge had to be abandoned when wheelhouse windows were smashed, and the captain and crew took up positions on the passenger decks.
But now, with many already home for the Christmas they feared would be ruined, passengers have had time to reflect on how the crew coped with one of the most dramatic storms of the year.
UK passenger Lisa MacKenzie wrote on Facebook: ” After getting up at 3.30am we’ve been on 1 ship, 2 planes and had 2 car journeys. We are currently travelling back from Kent to Leicestershire. We will be home for Christmas… it’s been an epic day.
“All we’re suffering from now is a bit of shock, Tom got sore ribs after being thrown up against a balcony and we’re very tired. Plus I don’t think either of us EVER want to hear smashing and crashing or see fear on peoples faces like we did for 2 days, ever again.
“Hurtigruten have done an absolutely amazing job of getting 266 passengers home in extremely bad circumstances at the busiest time of the year. I still plan to cruise with them again and am now saving up for Antarctica.
“Blessing to all I had the pleasure of hiking, drinking, laughing, skiing with and helping on that awful night. I hope you find peace.
“Whatever you do, whom ever you’re with be grateful for those that love you, appreciate all the little things in life, don’t sweat over the trivial shite it REALLY doesn’t matter, be kind or at least don’t be nasty, and more importantly, please please please ALWAYS listen to/watch any safety briefings when your flying, cruising or anything that could end your life if the shit hit the fan.
“We always say “that will never happen to me” well guys “it can”. Love you all and thank you.
“Right now I need to cuddle my dog and settle down my amazingly brave husband.
“I don’t know if crew and the officers get to see this group but if you do I am eternally thankful to you all for you immense bravery and selflessness.
“As guest most of us were aware that many of you have children at home and would have been extremely frightened. However, you all still managed to conduct yourselves professionally and calmly. I adore you all. To our captain. You were always going to be between a rock and a hard place and you were NEVER going to please everyone – you and your fellow officers are outstanding and are an asset to Hurtigruten.
“I hope they remember that when the time comes.”
Catriona MacRae wrote: “What we were told: Bridge windows were blown out by a rogue wave, all navigation instruments lost and steerage being performed manually in the engine room as of last night.
“Spent a pretty anxious 4h in survival suits and life vests last night with high seas and minimal sleep, but the entire crew has been phenomenal throughout and I cannot praise them enough.
“For those asking about the likelihood of their own trips on MS Maud going ahead, I offer some visual aids. Somehow the crew has managed to create a temporary bridge in what used to be the “expedition lounge”.
The ship’s 266 passengers and 131 crew were safe after the ship was towed back to Germany. At one point the tug’s line snapped in the storm.
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