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Wave Death Cruise Ship Was 'Badly Maintained

The wife of a man who died when a freak wave crashed into a cruise ship has claimed that the vessel was "improperly maintained".
Helen Swinstead said she and her husband James, 85, were sitting by a window on the Marco Polo when the water poured in.

The wave is understood to have hit the ship during the severe storm that hit Britain on Friday, injuring a number of the 735 passengers, who were mainly British.

Mrs Swinstead, from Colchester, told Sky News: "My husband was hit by the window. I think it killed him almost instantly. Four windows blew and the one we were sitting at.

"The ship was badly maintained. I said to my husband - because my father used to make paint - [the window's] going to leak because of the rust.

"There was a rusty puddle on the window sill. I think the ship was improperly maintained.

"It had come from Madeira, I think, before we got on it in January, and they had bad storms then. And there's so much paint on the outside - you probably can't see the rust.

"They'd just slop some more on whenever we got into port. They are going to have metal testing things in Tilbury apparently."

Sky News has spoken to the owner of the Marco Polo - Cruise and Maritime Voyages - who said it does not intent to comment on Mrs Swinstead's allegations and is continuing to investigate the incident.

A female passenger in her 70s was airlifted off the ship, while 14 others were treated for minor injuries. The wave caused damage to the ship's Waldorf Restaurant.

Mrs Swinstead described the moment the water burst into the area where they were sitting.

"It was quite dreadful," she said. "I was sitting next to him and this window just came in and the sea with it. I was ... well ... we were all very very wet.

"I think a woman was taken to hospital. My husband was going to go on the helicopter but he died before they could get him on it.

"With our insurance I think I'm entitled to £2,000, which won't even cover getting him home to Colchester.

"I think the shipping company should give some sort of compensation."

The Marco Polo was travelling through an area of the English Channel known as the Western Approaches at the time when the wave struck.

It was on its way to its home port of Tilbury, Essex, at the end of a 42-night voyage which had included the Brazilian Amazon and the West Indies.

Mrs Swinstead spoke to reporters including Sky News as she left the Tilbury Docks on Sunday morning.

She said: "He was a lovely husband. The crew have been fantastic. The captain was much admired."

Others disembarking the 22,000 described the scenes on board.

Linda Kogan said: "It was horrendous, I've never been in storms like it. The waves were coming up almost over the ship.

"The ship was at an angle. Some people reported the drawers were falling apart and the wardrobe doors falling off.

"A lady was actually thrown out of bed with the force. We weren't in the restaurant when the windows broke but I think it was really scary."

Views: 86

Comment by Jack Dryden on February 25, 2014 at 19:25
Thanks Mark
Comment by Flyer1 on March 6, 2014 at 9:50


Comment by Jack Dryden on March 6, 2014 at 19:08
Thanks Flyer1

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