The internet has been a buzz today with the release of closed circuit television video (CCTV) of the interior of the P&O Cruises’ Pacific Sun, which ran into a bout of heavy weather in June 2008.  

A number of  passenger were injured.  You can clearly see one young lady smash her face into a column at the 47 second mark in the first video of the lounge area.

The second video is of a lower deck showing a forklift narrowly miss running over a crew member.

Cruise lines are experts keeping video like this secret.  The security and risk management departments of cruise line keep these types of video away from the public’s eyes. This permits the cruise lines to contest the passengers’ accounts of injuries and lets the defense lawyers claim that the passengers are exaggerating. 

Would you have believed this if you did not see it?

What honest soul at the cruise line leaked these tapes?     

The marine accident report for this incident can be viewed here.  A travel website summarized the pertinent findings of the report as follows:

  • The Pacific Sun was on a tight schedule and this placed the captain in a "difficult situation" to return to Auckland to ensure the following cruise left on time.
  • By not heaving-to earlier, the report said, he "inadvertently placed" the ship in the worst sea conditions, 322km northeast of North Cape;
  • The crew were essentially flying blind, unable to see or monitor abnormal swells of up to 7m in darkness;
  • The ship’s stablisers were inoperative – one was worn out and the other was rendered useless in the slow speeds that the ship was reduced to;
  • Two of the four muster stations – areas where passengers are meant to congregate in an emergency – were also rendered useless because of the damage and mess caused by unsecured furnishings; and 
  • The accident damaged the ship’s main satellite system, reducing officers’ abilities to communicate with shore.

Many passengers were concerned to see crew wearing lifejackets, while they were not.

Passengers’ injuries ranged in severity from broken bones, to cuts and bruises, with seven seriously hurt and three were greeted by ambulances when the ship berthed in Auckland two days later.

One passenger had part of a finger amputated. The report said other passengers suffered anxiety attacks.

The cruise line offered the passengers a small discount off on a future cruise.

For another incredible video, watch what a cruise ship looks like in a cyclone: Cruise Ship Social Media: Everyone Loves A Disaster Movie