Antarctic Cruise Ship Freed by High Tides

The Antarctic cruise ship M/V Ocean Nova, the ship that ran aground yesterday, has been freed from the rocks by the high tide, and is now steaming back to Ushuaia, Argentina for inspection. High winds and pushed the vessel, which was carrying 106 passengers and crew, onto the rocks in Marguerite Bay, off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Before departing the area, divers inspected the Ocean Nova and found no evidence of damage to the hull. According to updates from Quark Expeditions, the company that operates the cruise ship, video of the hull was examined by maritime experts who declared it safe to get underway. If the vessel passes inspection, as expected, it will begin its next voyage on the 22nd of February.

Meanwhile, all of the passengers that were aboard the ship were transferred to another vessel, the M/V Adventure Clipper, yesterday and were also en route back to Ushuaia. No one was injured in the incident, and everyone is said to be in good spirits despite the interruption to their vacation.

Fortunately there doesn’t seem to have been any environmental damage done to the region either. Since the hull was not breached, there was no leaking of fuel or other contaminants, and the fragile Antarctic environment appears to have been left unscathed by this most recent accident. Patrick Shaw, the President of Quark Expeditions is quoted as saying, “We are grateful that no environmental damage occurred and that all travelers who were aboard Ocean Nova are safe.”