Cruise ship runs aground in Dominican Republic

A Norwegian Cruise Line ship, carrying over a thousand passengers, ran aground on Monday afternoon as it was departing the Dominican Republic. It took several hours for the 165,000 gross ton cruise ship to be refloated.

According to local reports, the 326-metre vessel, named Norwegian Escape, hit the channel bed amid strong winds as it was departing Puerto Plata on Monday afternoon.

Tugboats worked tirelessly to free the cruise ship but were forced to wait until high tide. One passenger posted these photos on social media:

Another passenger wrote on Facebook: “Currently beached on Norwegian Escape in Peurto Plata port if anyone sees the news. The whole boat is currently tilted to the left. Thank god for the unlimited drink package right now!”

Eventually, Norwegian Escape was refloated around 12:45am local time, over seven hours after it had run aground.

According to BBC News, no passengers or crew were injured and the vessel returned to the port for checks. The company has now cancelled the rest of the cruise, with all passengers being flown back to Orlando via charter flight from Puerto Plata.

The luxury liner, which is one of the biggest in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, was on a seven-day Caribbean cruise and had left from Florida that Saturday. According to Maritime Executive, Escape‘s next scheduled port of call was St. Thomas, followed by Tortola and then Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas.

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