Travelers recount deadly waves
2 killed off Spain on cruise ship
BARCELONA - The Mediterranean was heaving as the 68-year-old Italian stood in the cruise ship lounge. A moment later a monstrous wave shattered the windows and sent shards into her head, leaving her bleeding on the floor and calling out for her husband.
Torrents of water gushed into the Louis Majesty, pouring through several floors of the ship.
“I thought I would end up in the sea, drowned,’’ said Anna Lita, who had a black eye and bandages on her head and hand yesterday.
The three waves that struck the Cypriot-owned ship Wednesday killed two people off the coast of northeast Spain. The vessel was carrying 1,350 passengers and 580 crew members, from a total of 27 countries.
Lita’s husband, Carlo, 69, who had been beside her on a sofa, was thrown in the air. He suffered a leg injury and had to have five stitches in his head.
Another Italian, Giovanni Zanoni, said that after the waves blew out the windows of the lounge, the ceiling caved in.
“People were screaming, panicking. They were grabbing life vests,’’ Zanoni said.
The ship’s owner and operator, Louis Cruise Lines, said the vessel was struck Wednesday by three “abnormally high’’ waves more than 33 feet high that broke glass windshields in the forward section on deck five, which is one of 10 used by passengers. Two people died and 14 were slightly hurt, the company said.
Large waves are not rare in the Mediterranean, but ones that size occur only once or twice a year, said Marta de Alfonso, an oceanographer with the Spanish government.
This accident happened in an area of the Mediterranean called the Gulf of Leon, which is known for big waves when storms hit.