Antarctic cruise survivors tell of safety flaws

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The Independent Travel

British survivors of a tourist ship which sank off the coast of the Antarctic last winter are helping marine accident investigators with a report which is likely to affect the future of tourism in the region.

Passengers rescued from the M/S Explorer, which sank last November after allegedly colliding with an iceberg, have provided in-depth reports to investigators, some of which will highlight deficiencies during the evacuation procedure.

The holing of the ship resulted in an international rescue mission to save the 154 passengers and crew. Clive Hale, one of the survivors along with his wife Georgia, said: "There are lots of issues about things such as the lifeboats not working that will hopefully come out in the report. There were issues about the evacuation that were not good, lots of things that should have been done better. The outcome could have been much worse – we were very lucky that the two ships that came to the rescue weren't very far away. Otherwise it would have been a very different story."

Lloyd's List initially reported that the vessel had five deficiencies at its last inspection, including missing search and rescue plans and poor lifeboat maintenance.

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