The Norwegian Escape cruise ship ran aground on a sandbar off the coast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, today, March 14. The tragedy occurred after the cruise liner, which carried 3223 passengers and 1618 crew members, left port and became trapped in Taino Bay shortly after. Several tugboats have been dispatched to assist the ship, but the Norwegian Escape has been trapped for three hours and no progress has been made.
“During the afternoon on March 14, 2022, Norwegian Escape made contact with the channel bed as it was departing Puerto Plata. All guests and crew are safe, and there are no reports of damages to the ship. Operations on board have not been impacted, and all services and activities continue as scheduled. We are currently working on a solution to free the ship and ready her for safe departure,” said in a Norwegian Cruise Line statement.
According to one passenger, Strong winds, led the ship to drift out of the canal and towards the sand mound.
A wife commented on Twitter “My husband is on the boat. I’m home laughing because I got hurt and couldn’t go. He hasn’t stop talking with his buddy about how great the trip is gonna be.”
My husband is on the boat. I’m home laughing because I got hurt and couldn’t go. He hasn’t stop talking with his buddy about how great the trip is gonna be.
— Danielle Ireland (@brlyahistorian) March 14, 2022
“The crew of the Norwegian Escape is great. We’ve been stuck on ground just outside Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for almost 2 and a half hours now and they’re handling it with all due haste while the guest-facing crew is keeping everyone calm. Good job,” the crew center reported.
However, a guest onboard the Norwegian Escape has reported that the ship broke free about 12:45 a.m. local time and is present en route to St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. As the ship leaves Puerto Plata, a passenger posted the footage below.
We are free!!!! pic.twitter.com/eHkdXiIQGo
— The Disney Dude (@DisneyTalk101) March 15, 2022