A Belgian cruise ship ran aground in Thailand on Monday, breaching its hull and taking on water.
Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub
The ship, La Belle des Oceans, was sailing south of the Phi-Phi islands when it struck underwater rocks. The collision was significant enough to breach the hull of the ship and cause it to take on water. ThePhuketNews.com reports that the ship was carrying 79 passengers and 70 crew when the collision occurred and that all are safe.
The Royal Thai Navy sent the HTMS Sriracha to the Belle’s aide. Authorities evacuated the passengers and took them to Novotel Phuket Phokeethra in Phuket Town, reports ThePhuketNew.com. Their next stop will be Singapore.
Pramok Urawan of Phuket Shipping Co Ltd expressed concern that the underwater rock that the Belle struck is likely not marked on navigation maps. The underwater structure was large enough to tear a hole in the hull of the 4,000-ton Belle, meaning that it would be a potential hazard to any ship sailing in the area.