Passengers aboard a cruise ship that encountered fierce storm conditions have recalled the carnage that took place on the luxury sailing that led to people to “scream for their lives”.
As the ship battled against the elements, the safety system was activated, causing the boat to dramatically veer and come to an abrupt halt, injuring an estimated 100 people, smashing glass and causing further damage to the interior.
Passengers have recalled the sheer panic as the ship travelled through the stormy waters as some believed the ship was doomed.
One anonymous woman told Portsmouth paper The News: “You could hear plates crashing and then there was an announcement from the captain who screamed over the tannoy system as the ship veered. The panic in his voice made everyone else panic.
“The medics were overrun. My mum saw someone being resuscitated, there were broken bones, people on stretchers and people crying including the crew, who were running around frantically trying to help everyone. It was petrifying.
“People were sleeping with life jackets on and writing messages home to loved ones in case we didn’t get back. We’re happy to be alive.”
Peter Sawyerl, from Christchurch, told the MailOnline: “We couldn’t believe how high we were being thrown when the 54ft waves were hitting. People were being picked up off the floor.”
Part of the ship’s dining room was turned into a medical centre to treat those injured over the course of the 18-hour ordeal.
“The whole experience was horrendous. Waves were coming up to the fifth-storey windows, people were screaming and furniture and plates and glass were flying in every direction,” passenger Richard Reynolds recounted to the MailOnline.
“I am ex-military and fire service and I have dealt with a lot of traumatic experiences in my career but this up there with the worst of them.
“People were screaming for their lives, things were banging and crashing around us and they thought they were going to die.
“We were confined to our cabins for two days, we were laying in bed fully clothed with life jackets on.
“I know other passengers wrote notes on their phones to loved ones because they didn’t think they were going to make it out of there.”
The ship has now returned to the UK after the cruise was cut short due to the frightening incident.
A spokeswoman said: “Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK.
“The ship remained safe at all times, but due to the impact of the storm some guests sustained injuries. All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff.
“While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely back, having sailed home in calmer seas.”
Saga Cruises CEO Nigel Blanks described the storm as “extremely frightening” in a letter to passengers, with compensation for injured customers also expected, according to The Portsmouth News.