A ship carrying more than 5,300 passengers on a seven-day cruise through the Panama Canal has been delayed because of heavy weather — but now an even larger aid arrives to help evacuate passengers. It’s unknown exactly how many people are on board the Diamond Princess, which experienced a mechanical problem shortly after taking off from the Philippines’ Bataan peninsula. All passengers were released safely from the ship by 1 p.m. local time on Monday.
From perusing the static pictures that accompanied the most recent updates on its website, it’s clear that passenger load was a major source of concern on the Diamond Princess during its journey; at one point, it was dealing with more than 3,000 passengers due to the changing path of the Pacific Storm. “Heavy winds and rains covered areas on both sides of the Pacific Ocean,” the cruise company said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Passengers and crew are safe, and the ship is under control. We will continue to update you as we learn more about the situation.” The company had said that more than 1,200 passengers were stuck on board, but later revised the number to less than 850.
. The Diamond Princess is currently under tow and is safe, and plans are in place to further assess its situation. We will provide further updates as we receive them. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/iIVEKgK7QW — Princess Cruises () February 18, 2019
Despite being less than halfway to the Pacific Ocean’s last point, the ship will make an attempt to round Cape Horn in hopes of arriving back in Japan on Saturday — which was its original scheduled destination. It’s not known if the delay will affect that itinerary or not. There are a few peculiarities to cruise-ship weather that mean it’s only a matter of time before something of this magnitude happens again. Over the last several years, a ship nicknamed the “superhornet” was still stranded in the Middle East because of a storm that lasted for 40 days in 2010. Unlike the Diamond Princess, the high winds that led to the superhornet’s evacuation didn’t lead to a full-scale evacuation, as it only needed to carry fewer than 200 passengers.
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