The Norwegian Escape was traveling to the US and British Virgin Islands when it ran into trouble
Norwegian Escape. © Norwegian Cruise Line
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.
Well, we seem to have run aground #Norwegian#NorwegianEscapepic.twitter.com/V0LcRxG7XF
— The Disney Dude (@DisneyTalk101) March 14, 2022
Crucero continúa encayado en Taíno Bay, Puerto Plata; al lugar se han presentado representantes de diferentes instituciones del estado, con la finalidad de colaborar con la tripulación y que siga su curso conforme al programa de navegación la nave “Norwegian Escape”. pic.twitter.com/jRdOfShVHq
— Ramón Núñez Fernández (@RamonNunez81) March 15, 2022
Footage shared on social media shows that the vessel was freed at 12:45am local time (4:45am GMT), with one passenger posting: “Kudos to Captain Giovanni and the amazing bridge officers for working hard, swiftly and most importantly, safely.”
#NorwegianEscape is Free! We wiggled our way out at about 12:45am. Kudos to Captain Giovanni and the amazing bridge officers for working hard, swiftly and most importantly, safely! ❤️ #PuertoPlata#NCLEscapepic.twitter.com/uzrQo4ArzY
— Robbie O’Malley (@robbieo625) March 15, 2022
The cruise ship, which is around 326 meters long and weighs 165,000 tonnes, was traveling to the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands before heading on to the Bahamas. It was built in 2015 in Germany and is one of the largest vessels in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.