More than 300 guests who were on board a P&O cruise liner which reportedly crashed into a petrol tanker will have their holiday cut short and be flown home.
A small number of people were injured in the “weather-related” incident in Mallorca on Sunday – with footage taken by a passenger showing fierce gusts sweeping across the waves from the ship’s window.
The P&O ship, which moored off the coast of the Spanish island, will return to Southampton on Friday morning with a reduced number of passengers, a spokesperson for the company has said.
They added that this was because one of the ship’s lifeboats had “sustained structural issues” and therefore maritime regulations meant it would have to return to the UK.
The ship, called Britannia, was carrying thousands of passengers but 321 of them will now leave the ship and be flown back to their original starting point.
The nationality of those who will return is not clear but some will be flown to Southampton.
The rest of the guests will conclude their trip on Friday as planned.
Port authorities in the Mallorca capital Palma said Britannia had collided with a petrol tanker.
In a statement, P&O said its Britannia ship “was impacted by severe weather when alongside in Palma de Mallorca” on Sunday.
“Following inspections, our third-party surveyor has confirmed that one of Britannia’s lifeboats has sustained structural issues and cannot be repaired onboard,” it added.
“We are so sorry but these extraordinary circumstances mean that the ship is required, by maritime regulation, to return to Southampton with a reduced number of people on board.”
The spokesperson said “a limited number of guests and crew” had been advised they would be leaving the ship and would be flown back to their starting point.
P&O Cruises had earlier told Sky News on Sunday that the ship was involved in a “weather-related incident” alongside the port in Palma.
The company added that a “small number of people” sustained minor injuries and were being treated by their onboard medical team.
Britannia, which entered service in 2015, is 330 metres long and weights 143,000 tons, according to the company’s website.
It has 13 guest decks and an operating capacity of 3,647 guests and 1,350 crew.