Cunard liner seized in pounds 15m dispute over reef

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The Independent Online
The Egyptian authorities have detained Cunard's liner Royal Viking Sun pending a pounds 15m compensation claim for damage to a coral reef in the Red Sea.

An Egyptian government environmental agency claims the luxury cruise liner caused the damage when it went aground last week.

Cunard officials said last night that representatives from its insurers will meet Egyptian government officials this weekend to discuss the matter.

In the meantime, the 37,845-ton vessel is being held in the Red Sea port of Sharm el Sheikh until the compensation dispute is resolved. Cunard is sending out its own diver to check damage to the coral reef.

The ship, which had 560 passengers on board, including 54 Britons, was heading towards the Jordanian port of Aqaba when it apparently struck the reef.

She lost all power and had to be towed into Sharm el Sheikh where Cunard is carrying out temporary repairs.