Local News

N.C. Passengers Glad To Be On Solid Ground After Incident At Sea

Posted May 23, 2001

— Some local passengers on board a Norweigan cruise ship are glad to be back home after a terrifying experience at sea. The autopilot on their ship malfunctioned, which caused the ship to tilt at least 45 degrees into the water. It was an experience they will not soon forget.

Amelda Johnson of Benson was sitting down to lunch with her family and friends when her Alaskan cruise suddenly took a sharp turn in the wrong direction.

"People flying across the floors and food and hot water out of the trays. It was a very, very frightening moment," she says.

The ship actually tilted twice within about five minutes.

"The first one, we got the plates and trays and everything and we were holding it, but the second tilt, there was no holding anything. You could not hold anything. You were just trying to survive," Johnson says.

Nancy Brady was getting ready to sit down with the group at lunch. She remembers a more chilling sight through the dining room window.

"I'm hanging. I'm looking down and looking into it, going down into the water," she says.

Brady's daughter, Gina, says what she remembers most were the pools and hot tubs below emptying of water.

The waters [were] just gushing out of them, not just pouring. They were gushing out," she says.

The women say the crew members were very professional during the accident and helped put them at ease.


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