https://www.theepochtimes.com/norwegian-cruise-ship-carrying-thousands-refloated-after-running-aground_4341628.html

A Norwegian cruise ship with more than a thousand passengers onboard has been refloated on Tuesday after running aground off the Dominican Republic the previous day.

Whascar de Jesus Garcia, a Puerto Plata’s provincial office manager, said strong winds had caused the 1,069 feet-long vessel to ground itself on Monday as it left the Taino Bay port at Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic

“Because of the slow speed that the cruise was carrying, it was dragged by the currents existing there,” the Dominican admiral said.

“In the North of the Dominican Republic, a cold front was approaching, causing abnormal winds. In the most vulnerable moment when the ship was leaving the port, sadly, a wind gust turned the ship a little,” he went on to say.

A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said in a statement provided to Florida Today that the ship “made contact with the channel bed as it was departing Puerto Plata.”

View of Norwegian Escape cruise ship at the Taino Bay Port, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on March 15, 2022. (Erika Santelices/AFP via Getty Images)

No passengers or crew members on board the large vessel, dubbed Norwegian Escape, were harmed. It took authorities more than seven hours for the cruise ship to be freed.

“So far, thank God, the crew and the passengers aren’t in danger. The ship’s position right now poses no danger. We are doing everything we can with tug boats,” vice-admiral of the Dominican navy, Ramon Betances Hernandez, said when the vessel ran aground.

In a letter to passengers, the captain of the Norwegian Escape said the remainder of the cruise was canceled “in an abundance of caution” and the cruise line company would arrange for charter flights to get everyone back home.

“We apologize for this unforeseen event,” the captain wrote in a letter that some passengers posted on social media. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, as we understand, now more than ever, the desire the desire to travel and reconnect with the places and people we’ve missed more.”

All guests are receiving a full refund and an additional 100 percent future cruise credit, the letter indicated.

According to Norwegian Cruise Line’s website, the Norwegian Escape, which was built in 2015, weighs nearly 165,000 tons and can accommodate more than 4,200 guests and 1,733 crew members.

The Norwegian Escape was reportedly carrying 1,618 crew members and 3,223 passengers at the time it ran aground, local news reported. The vessel was on its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From NTD News

Lorenz Duchamps

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