Norwegian Escape: Cruise Ship Carrying Thousands Runs Aground Off Dominican Republic

A cruise ship carrying around 3,000 tourists ran aground off the Dominican Republic on Monday, officials said, having run into trouble shortly after it departed from the island nation’s Puerto Plata port.

The Norwegian Escape also had around 1,600 crew members on board when it struggled to battle “strong 30 knot winds” which left it requiring support from tug boats to free it, Vice Admiral Ramon Gustavo Betances Hernandez said.

Additional tug boats were dispatched on Monday evening to assist in the rescue effort, with the vice-admiral using the high tide to allow them to pull the cruise ship back to safety. No damage was reported despite the incident.

Footage shared on social media shows that the vessel was freed at 12:45 am local time (4:45 am GMT), with one passenger posting: “Kudos to Captain Giovanni and the amazing bridge officers for working hard, swiftly and most importantly, safely.”

The cruise ship, which is around 326 meters long and weighs 165,000 tonnes, was traveling to the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands before heading on to the Bahamas. It was built in 2015 in Germany and is one of the largest vessels in the Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.

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