Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cruise Evacuation

Tug boats are capable of some highly impressive feats. Push this, tow that—no problem! But earlier this week, four tugs were unable to pull the 660-foot cruise ship Mona Lisa from a sand bank in the Baltic Sea where she had run aground around 10 miles off Latvia's northwest coast.

When removal efforts failed (ballast water and fuel were pumped-out in an attempt to lessen Mona Lisa's weight), Latvia's coast guard spent nearly five hours removing some 650 passengers and taking them to shore in two naval ships. Fortunately, the evacuation was a success: guests descended the ship in ladders sans incident and the ship went unharmed. On Monday, the AP reported that over 330 crew members were also slated to be removed from the ship.

According to the Baltic News Service, Mona Lisa's owner has not lost faith in the awesome abilities of tugs: he's asked a Swedish company with a powerful boat to help free the 30,000-ton cruise ship from her current sandy resting spot.

No comments: