Wave kills Marco Polo cruise ship passenger in Channel
A cruise ship passenger has died after the vessel was hit by a large wave in the English Channel.
The wave hit the UK-based cruise ship MS Marco Polo as it headed for its home port of Tilbury, in Essex.
Water crashed through a window injuring several passengers. An 85-year-old man and a woman in her 70s were airlifted off the ship but the man later died.
A number of the 735 passengers on board suffered minor injuries, operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) said.
The 22,000 gross tonnage vessel had been on a 42-night voyage and was heading back from the Azores when the wave struck.
The company said: "CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship MS Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.
"One elderly passenger has died and a further passenger has been airlifted for further shore-side medical assistance.
"The vessel sailed from Tilbury on January 5 and is carrying 735 mainly British passengers and 349 crew.
"Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time."