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Cruise ship takes on water mid-journey

A river cruise ship in the eastern Netherlands had to have an emergency evacuation of it’s crew and passengers early on Sunday morning.

During it’s journey on the Ijessel river- an important tributary of the Rhine – it appears that the 1969-built Britannia sprung a leak late in the previous evening and eventually began to list (tilt to one side).

All of the passengers, the majority of whom were from Germany and Austria, were evacuated safely from the 360-foot vessel by local emergency services. There were no reported injuries.

“All 154 passengers and 40 crew members have been evacuated from the ship and we’re trying to pump out water to prevent her from sinking,” said the Dutch emergency services spokesman Robert Spijkerman.

A statement on the Zutphen city council website – the closest town to where the incident occurred – stated that passengers were taken into a nightclub before being sheltered overnight in a large event building in Zutphen.

The munipality’s statement said that the ship Britannia had been ‘drained’ and will be ‘stabilised today (Monday). The ship has now been moored in Zutphen on the Ijessel River.

The Swiss-operated Britannia is operated by Nicko Tours, and was about 68 miles east of Amsterdam on its way to Cologne, Germany when it ran into trouble. A dive team is now investigating the hull of the ship to determine the cause of the leak.

Incidences like this highlight the risk of travelling without adequate travel insurance policies. Passengers would have found their holiday has been severely disrupted and planned excursions or any decisions made to fly home early may not have been covered if travel insurance was not bought prior to travel. Thousands of people travel without a cruise insurance policy every year because they either think it is unnecessary or too expensive, but in cases like this, the importance and value of having a policy which covers for emergency situations is highlighted.

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