Titanic-like Disaster Brings Calls For Tougher Controls
Tighter controls on cruise ships are being called for after the inexperienced captain of a tourist vessel almost caused a Titanic-like disaster in the Antarctic.
A report into the sinking of the MV Explorer found that an 'inexperienced and overconfident' captain drove the ship too fast towards 'a wall of ice', according to The Independent.
The fact that no-one died in the incident was put down to good fortune and unusually benign weather by accident investigators.
Their report, which has been sent to those involved in the sinking, will add to international pressure for tighter regulations on the increasing numbers of cruise ships sailing to the Antarctic.
The Explorer, a 40-year-old, Liberian-registered vessel, sank in deep water in November 2007 after being fatally holed by an iceberg as it attempted to sail through an ice field at night.
As water flooded into the stricken ship, 154 passengers ? who had paid up to £3,900 for the 18-day voyage from Argentina ? were forced to wade through freezing water to lifeboats.
Maritme experts say the incident has raised concerns about the growing trend to run cruises in exotic and remote locations, often in dangerous conditions.
It also reminds cruise passengers of the need for comprehensive travel insurance, which includes 'catastrophe' cover, emergency medical and repatriation expenses and compensation for trip abandonment.