Wave kills Marco Polo cruise ship passenger in Channel

Luca RivaImage source, Luca Riva
Image caption,
The ship was heading to Tilbury when the wave struck, Cruise & Maritime Voyages said

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."

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