Cruise ship Marco Polo aground at Sortland, Norway
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Cruise ship Marco Polo aground at Sortland, Norway

No one was injured when the cruise ship Marco Polo aground just outside Sortland in Vesterålen. 

10 March 2013 - 10:39

Cruise ship Marco Polo aground at Sortland, Norway

No one was injured when the cruise ship Marco Polo aground just outside Sortland in Vesterålen. 

The ship had a leak in a ballast tank and is now docked where it is examined by divers.

The cruise ship Marco Polo was on his way out from the dock with 1117 people on board when it touched the ground outside Sortland in Vesterålen. 

The grounding meant that there was a hole in a ballast tank.- There was a hole in a ballast tank, confirms rescue leader Oliver Delbekk at the rescue center northern Norway to the Northern Lights .

The ship left the harbor and the damage was examined by divers from the rescue boat.MS Marco Polo is owned by Global Maritime and sailing for Cruise & Maritime Voyages . 

The ship was built in 1965 by VEB Mathias-Thesen Werft, Wismar in the former GDR, and were delivered as Aleksandr Pushkin to the Soviet Baltic Shipping Company. 

Its present name was there in 1991.Marco Polo (ex Aleksandr Pushkin) was one of the last ships that drove scheduled passengers across the Atlantic (including the route Leningrad - Montreal) until 1980.Marco Polo is 176 meters long and 23 meters wide - sticking between eight and 13 meters deep and has a tonnage of 22,080 GT. 

On board there is room for about 900 passengers.

Unknown reason

- The ship touched a rock or shoal in the bay that no one knows anything about, says Port Director Hugo Næss Sortland port.

According to Næss was a pilot and did not understand when the ship ran aground. Most likely, has recently "found" an unknown reason in the main lane in Sortland sound, says Næss to VOL.

- The ship followed the main fairway and it has been substantially larger boats out of the harbor so this should not be possible, says Næss to VOL. Although the grounding occurred at low tide, it will not affect the passage of the main channel.

NCA's responsibilities

- I'm going to make contact with the Coast Guard in the morning, says Næss. - This is a hovedlei and it is the NCA is responsible for it.

Ship is under control

Aground resulted in a 40 cm large slit in one of ship ballast tanks. Divers from RS "Knut Hoem" has first inspected the damage and tear is repaired.

- These tanks are normally filled with water, in any case, so this was not dramatic. But the ship will remain docked at Sortland until tomorrow, when inspectors from the Directorate coming on board to determine whether the ship can sail further, says Oliver Delbekk the JRCC to VOL.

- We are now waiting for Ship Control is the authority that can give the ship a potential go-ahead to go, says Næss. He says he has not received any indication that it should be implemented an alternative transport for cruisskippassasjerene.

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