Cruise Ship Collides with Oil Tanker, Injuring Passengers

A P&O cruise ship, the Britannia, collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Spain, resulting in injuries to some passengers. The incident occurred during a storm near Palma de Mallorca, with the ship carrying thousands of passengers at the time. The Britannia, P&O’s flagship vessel, was caught in gale-force winds, causing it to break free from its mooring and drift towards the oil tanker.

Social media footage showed the ship swaying violently in the wind before the mooring snapped. The subsequent collision resulted in injuries from falls and flying debris. The weather conditions in Mallorca were severe, with 74 mph winds and heavy rain, prompting an amber weather alert across the island.

A post-crash technical assessment revealed damage to a lifeboat that was beyond repair. P&O announced that 321 guests would be flown home early as the ship made its way back to Southampton, UK, with a reduced number of passengers, as required by maritime law.

The Britannia has a capacity of 3647 passengers, and P&O stated that the ship was near its full capacity at the time of the collision. Passenger Ricky Stubbs recounted the chaos that ensued after the crash, with people scrambling to escape the wind and rain. He praised the captain and staff for their calm and frequent updates during the stressful situation.

Another passenger, Russ Dawson, described the stormy weather and the moment he realized the ship was going to collide with the oil tanker. Despite being offered a 20% discount on his next cruise, Dawson felt it was insufficient compensation for the ordeal.

A P&O Cruises spokesperson confirmed that the incident was weather-related and resulted in minor injuries to a small number of individuals. The injured passengers were treated at the onboard medical center. The spokesperson also confirmed that one of the Britannia’s lifeboats had sustained structural damage and could not be repaired onboard.

The remaining passengers were allowed to continue their journey, with the ship returning to Southampton with fewer people onboard due to maritime regulations. Some guests and crew were advised that they would be leaving the ship and returned to their starting point by flight and transfer.