SAN DIEGO — A San Diego couple’s trip to Antarctica was cut short after a rogue wave crashed into their cruise ship.
Multiple passengers were injured and one did not make it back home.
Passenger Debra Terry says a horrible rogue wave ruined her trip and took the life of one passenger. She is relieved to be back home.
Powerful waves slammed against the Viking Polaris ship as Terry and other passengers traveled through treacherous waters known as Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica.
“It’s amazing that there’s a wave that big with that much power,” Terry said. “All alone out in the sea just crashing.”
Once Terry and other passengers got to Antarctica, they would leave the ship on inflatable rescue boats for short excursions.
But one boat exploded, shattering another passenger’s leg.
“It was ascertained by the medical staff on board that they were not able to provide the level of care she needed. There was no other ship nearby and the helicopter was too rough to land,” Terry said.
The ship’s captain decided to head back through Drake passage to get the woman medical help in Argentina. That’s when Debra says the rogue wave crashed into the side of the ship, killing one person and injuring four others.
“Right here is the second floor of the side of the ship that was actually impacted by the wave and you can see that these four rooms were hit,” said Terry as she was showing photos of the damaged ship.
Viking Expeditions released a statement saying in part:
“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies. We will continue to offer our full support to the family in the hours and days ahead.”
“It’s huge somebody died,” Terry said. “People were hurt. A cruise ship was kind of crashed. So that was a lot to take in. I just wanted to get home at that point.”
Viking says after this death, it has also made the decision to cancel the ship’s next scheduled departure, the Dec. 5-17 Antarctic Explorer itinerary.