The 105 passengers on board the cruise ship that was involved in a collision with a rock in Antarctica, have now returned to safe land in Argentina. The passengers are on their way back home.
On January 31st, the expedition cruise vessel, the Polar Star was involved in a collision with a rock. The collision damaged the outer hull of the double-hulled vessel. Although the hull was breached, the damage was minor. The passengers on the vessel had to be evacuated and transferred to other vessels, which were in the area at the time. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, the passengers were transferred to the MV Marina Svetaeva, the MV Ushuaia and the MS Expedition, and returned to Ushuaia in Argentina on 6 February. Many of them have now returned home. The Polar Star remains in Ushuaia with only crew members aboard.
According to Polar Star Expeditions, the rest of the Antarctica tour has been canceled, and the damage to the vessel has been assessed by a team of divers, the company’s marine superintendent and other officials.
Obviously, passengers on the vessel had not signed on for this terrifying experience. It is extremely fortunate that this accident ended without passengers being injured. Expedition cruises into Antarctica involve more stringent safety regulations & procedures than other kinds of cruises.
Antarctica is the last pristine heaven on earth, and there is huge demand for such cruises. However, it’s also important to remember that gazing across the beautiful landscapes comes with its share of risk. Being involved in a maritime accident in Antarctica is a whole different ballgame from your vessel running aground in warm waters. Tour operators need to take these special risks very seriously, and prepare for any unexpected event.
If you have suffered a cruise vessel injury, contact a maritime attorney at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.