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Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cruise ship runs aground in Antarctic

February 1, 2007

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— A Norwegian cruise ship carrying nearly 300 passengers, including 119 Americans, ran aground on a remote Antarctic island and damaged its hull before getting free of rocks, officials said Wednesday. No one was injured.

The M/S Nordkapp got off the rocks under its own steam and sought shelter in a nearby harbor, where the 294 passengers were being transferred to a sister ship as a precaution, said Hanne K. Kristiansen, a spokeswoman for Norwegian Coastal Voyage.

She said there was no danger to those aboard or to the Nordkapp after the incident in the Southern Ocean.

Another Norwegian Coastal Vessel, the M/S Nordnorge, sailed into Walker Bay and the passengers were being transferred onto it in small boats usually used for sightseeing. The Nordnorge will then take them to Ushuaia, Argentina, a roughly 40-hour trip.

"We are having a fine time. In fact, it is very nice," Norwegian passenger Terje Johansen told The Associated Press from the Nordkapp earlier in the day.

He said passengers initially were nervous when the ship ran aground, but quickly understood that there was no danger.

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