The P&O Cruises Britannia ship, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, encountered a “weather-related incident” in which their ship collided with an oil tanker due to high winds yesterday.
“P&O Cruises Britannia was involved in a weather-related incident while alongside in Palma de Mallorca. A small number of individuals sustained minor injuries and are being cared for by the onboard medical center,” a spokesperson for P&O Cruises said.
Palma de Mallorca, also known simply as Palma, is a resort city and capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca in the western Mediterranean Sea. The island is due south of Barcelona and due east of Valencia.
The Britannia is a 1,082′ ship with a maximum capacity of 3,647 passengers and 1,1400 crew. It is the third largest ship in the P&O fleet.
The Britannia broke free of its mooring lines and crashed into a nearby tanker during a storm. Both ships encountered minor damage, but neither encountered structural damage. However, the Britannia did encounter damage to its safety equipment, forcing some guests to depart and be flown home. Photographs posted by passengers on the ship reveal missing railings, smashed lifeboats, and punctures to the side of the cruise ship. No oil leaked from the damaged oil tanker.
In a letter delivered to guest cabins this morning, the ship’s Guest Services team wrote, “Third-party surveyors have confirmed that one of Britannia’s lifeboats and some other lifesaving equipment has sustained structural issues and cannot be repaired onboard.” Because the ship is lacking its full capacity of lifeboats, the cruise line must reduce the passenger count onboard to meet maritime safety laws. In all, 321 people are being sent home from the ship.
P&O Cruises says the Britannia will head back to Southampton, UK by Friday morning with the balance of the passengers.