Saga Cruises passengers injured in Bay of Biscay storm

About 100 Saga Cruises’ passengers were injured when one of its ships hit bad weather in the Bay of Biscay.

Saga’s Spirit of Discovery, capable of carrying 999 passengers, ran into trouble at around midday on Saturday.

Of the 100 people injured, five sustained more serious injuries and needed treatment in the medical centre, with the ship returning a day early to Portsmouth.

Spirit of Discovery was on a 14-night Canary Islands cruise, which departed on October 24.

While sailing towards La Coruna after cancelling a call into Gran Canaria, the ship was notified that the Spanish mainland port would be closed due to adverse weather conditions prior to arrival.

The onward route was reviewed against prevailing weather conditions and a decision made to continue back to the UK earlier than originally planned to allow the ship to continue to stay ahead of the storm.

Shipping forecasts showed that either turning back or taking any alternative route would have meant hitting the storm head on and conditions would have been much worse.

The ship was aware that there would be challenging conditions crossing of the Bay of Biscay but this was not unusual for this time of the year, with it being fully prepared.

Spirit of Discovery then suddenly veered to one side during a safety manoeuvre.

The ship then held its position until the conditions improved but around 100 passengers suffered injuries.

The vast majority of these were minor, with five needing treatment for more serious injuries in the ship’s medical centre.

A Saga Cruises spokesperson said: “Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK.

“The ship remained safe at all times, but due to the impact of the storm some guests sustained injuries. All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff.

“While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely on their way home in calmer seas.”

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