Cruise liner carrying 1,000 people floods after hitting embankment in port of Nice

'I heard a big boom, a thud that reverberated throughout the harbour like an explosion'

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The Independent Online

A 30,000 tonne cruise liner carrying over one thousand people has been badly damaged after hitting an embankment while entering the port of Nice.

A compartment in the Pacific Princess became flooded after hitting a breakwater wall when it ran into an unexpected change in wind conditions off the coast of France at around 6:30am on Friday.

The port side of the ship was damaged under the water line and watertight doors were closed to prevent the inflow of sea water from flooding further compartments.

Princess Cruises spokesman David Sanders said there were no injuries, the ship still had electrical power and no evacuation took place. 

Most of the ship's 669 guests have gone ashore on excursions following the incident while some have remained on board. Divers are currently on scene assessing the damage. 382 crew members were also onboard.

A British passenger told the Nice Martin: “We felt the ship scrape port side.

“It was indicated there was water on board but nothing serious. We’re stuck here for now and do not know for how long.”

A passenger in another boat moored at the port, said: "I heard a big boom, a thud that reverberated throughout the harbour like an explosion.”

The Pacific Princess was 10 days into a 12 day-long-cruise from Venice to Barcelona when the incident occurred. Due to the damage on the ship, Princess Cruises has cancelled the remainder of the trip.

Mr Sanders said: “As a result of this incident we have made the decision to end the current cruise early so that necessary repairs can be made to the ship.

“We will provide required transportation and lodging at our expense so that guests may proceed with their original onward travel arrangements as scheduled on Sunday, October 16. Additional details about these arrangements will be provided as soon as possible."