One person died and four others were injured after a giant “red wave” hit a cruise ship bound for Antarctica, travel company Viking confirmed to multiple outlets.
The “rogue wave incident” occurred during a storm earlier this week — as the Viking Polaris cruise ship headed for Ushuaia, Argentina, a launching point for many trips to Antarctica, a Viking representative told AFP.
“It is with great sadness that we have confirmed that a guest has passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest condolences,” the company’s statement to AFP said, adding that four other passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. injuries on board.
The Viking Polaris also had some minor damage, AFP reported, noting that several windows were smashed. The ship was anchored off Ushuaia after the incident.
Cruise Lines Dropped COVID Protocols: How did that affect business on ships? We have the numbers.
“We wondered if we hit an iceberg. And there are no icebergs here, but that’s what it felt like,” Suzie Gooding, a passenger on the Viking Polaris, told WRAL News. “Everything was fine until the rogue wave hit, and it was just sudden. Shocking.”
Viking told the outlet that the company’s “focus remains on the safety and well-being of our guests and crew” and that they were working to arrange return travel for those affected by the trip.
Passenger overboard: Coast Guard rescues Carnival passenger who fell overboard
USA TODAY contacted Viking Friday morning for more information.
According to Viking’s website, the Viking Polaris is a 200-meter cruise ship built in 2022. The capacity can accommodate 378 guests and 256 crew members.
What is a ‘rogue wave’?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a red wave is a large and unexpected wave that can be very dangerous.
Rouge waves, which scientists call “extreme storm waves,” are more than twice the size of surrounding waves, the NOAA says, and often come from different directions than those of the pre-existing waves and wind.
What is everyone talking about? Sign up for our trending newsletter to receive the latest news of the day
These waves are very unpredictable and look intimidating — most reports describe rouge waves to look like sheer “walls of water,” the NOAA says.
The agency adds that rouge waves are “extremely rare.” Experts are still investigating how these waves form, but NOAA notes there are several known causes, including “constructive interference” related to ocean swell and focuses on shifts in “wave energy.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Rogue wave’ leaves one dead, four injured on Antarctica Viking cruise