P&O Britannia Collides with Tanker in Palma de Mallorca During Hurricane Storm

Aug 28, 2023

A powerful hurricane storm with winds reaching up to 120 kilometers per hour, caused a massive cruise ship to drift and collide with an oil tanker in the port of Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The cruise ship in question, the P&O Britannia, was moored at the port before being torn from its moorings due to the ferocity of the winds. The storm's impact was so powerful that the ship was propelled from one side of the port to the other.

In response to the emergency, swift action was taken by the local emergency services, who initiated the Internal Maritime Plan designed for such contingencies. Initial reports suggest that there were no reported injuries among the passengers and crew. Both the Britannia and the oil tanker named the Castle of Arteaga, sustained damage during the collision. However, initial assessments suggest that the damage is relatively minor, and any potential spills have been ruled out.

Collaborative Efforts to Mitigate the Situation

To manage the situation effectively, a coordinated effort involving firefighters, tugboats, the Police, Captaincy, and the teams from the Balearic Islands Port Authority was mobilized. The P&O Britannia, experienced a rupture in its mooring lines due to the intense winds while docked at Palma de Mallorca. Subsequently, it drifted within the harbor and collided with the nearby tanker. The Britannia was eventually secured with the assistance of port tugs and was moved to a safe location outside the port area.

Passengers aboard the P&O Britannia had their shore leave halted when the ship's mooring lines failed, causing it to veer off course and collide with the tanker. Unfortunately, since the incident occurred around 11 a.m., guests have been unable to embark or disembark from the ship. Many have been stranded ashore, awaiting the safe return of the cruise ship. The exact timeline for this return remains uncertain, as decisions are contingent upon discussions between the ship's bridge crew and local authorities.

Though both the cruise ship and the tanker suffered limited damage as a result of the collision, the tanker, Castillo de Arteaga, managed to leave the port unscathed and is en route to its next destination. The P&O Britannia, on the other hand, is currently anchored outside the port, awaiting repairs to its mooring lines and the clearance for passengers to re-board.

Implications for Itinerary

The P&O Britannia was in the midst of a two-week Mediterranean cruise with Southampton as its departure and return point. It had been docked at Palma de Mallorca since Saturday noon and was set to head to Gibraltar the following Sunday. The ship's departure schedule is pending a decision in the upcoming hours, contingent on repairs and the ability to ensure the safety of guests before proceeding with its planned itinerary.