Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Princess Crown Askew ...

Oddity at Sea: Princess Cruises' Crown Princess snailed her way back to Florida's Port Canaveral after a sudden lurch-and-list left passengers and crew scrambling amid flying debris and gushing water. Medics treated the injured as officials tackled logistics of a massive impromptu disembarkation, and launched a probe into what went wrong. The month-old ship carrying more than 2,500 passengers and 1,200 crew had been about 11 miles out to sea and headed to New York on the last leg of a 9-day Caribbean cruise. Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson reported the line is looking into possible steering or mechanical problems and said passengers sustained fractures, bruises and some serious injuries. "We deeply regret this incident, and are doing everything we can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances,'' said Benson, who personally sustained life-threatening injuries several years ago in a land-based vehicular accident in Alaska while on Princess business. Now comes cleaning up the mess, determining what repairs are needed, and calculating financial impact of scuttled days at sea.

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