Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cursed Cruise Ship Runs Aground Off Turkey

The cruise ship that Dianne Brimble died on has become the Turkish equivalent of the Pasha Bulker after running aground and reportedly leaving Australians stranded. More than 1000 passengers onboard the Spanish-owned Sky Wonder – which used to be known as the Pacific Sky – were evacuated after the ship ran aground near the city of Kusadasi on Tuesday, Turkish media reported. Life-boats were used to transport the majority of people onboard the vessel to the city, but 27 passengers and 567 crew members had elected to stay with the ship. The Xinhua reported that the majority of passengers were Spanish citizens. A source in Kusadasi said Australian tourists were among the passengers on the ship when it ran aground during a storm. Yesterday, two tugboats had tried to move the 240m long ship into deeper waters but it is believed that the cruiser is still stranded. Port officials said the ship was not damaged during the incident.
Sky Wonder
The beaching has been the latest of a series of incidents to affect the ship. Gearbox problems have caused several scheduled cruises to have either been cancelled or cut short in recent years. In 2006, the ship broke down and was anchored in the Malacca Strait – near Singapore – for about 30 hours. The waters where the vessel broke down was a notorious spot for pirates to visit. In January this year, the ship also ran aground while travelling along the Rio de la Plata in Argentina. The cruise ship attracted attention from Australian media after the death of Brisbane woman Brimble in 2002, when it was owned by P&O Cruises Australia. The 42-year-old mother of three’s death sparked controversy over the activities of passengers and crew on cruise ships. Pullmantur Cruises in Spain currently own the ship.

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