‘Freak wave’ kills cruise line passenger

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A passenger aboard the UK-based cruise ship MS Marco Polo was killed after the vessel was hit by a “freak wave” in the English Channel.

Water crashed through the ship’s windows injuring several passengers. An 85-year-old man and a woman in her 70s were airlifted off the ship but the man later died, BBC reported.

The widow of the deceased man, Helen Swinstead, claimed the ship was “badly maintained.” She and her husband were eating in the ship’s Waldorf Restaurant when the wave crashed through the windows.

Mrs. Swinstead said in Tilbury after the ship docked that her husband, James, 85, was killed “almost instantly,” The Independent reported.

“With our insurance I think I’m entitled to £2,000, which won’t even cover getting him home to Colchester,” she said. “I think the shipping company should give some sort of compensation. The ship was badly maintained. Four windows blew.”

Operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) said in a statement: “CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship MS Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.

“Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time.”

The cruise line did not comment on Mrs. Swinstead’s statement.

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