PASSENGERS who were aboard the storm struck Grand Voyager cruise liner, have said they intend to sue the ship's captain who acted irresponsibly when he decided to sail from Tunisia on Sunday night even though he knew that gale force winds were expected in the ensuing hours.
Majorcan passenger Javier Fernández said that they would be claiming compensation for damages and injuries, and that this compensation would extend to the Barcelona cruise firm Iberojet who were chartering the boat from V. Ships. The captain must be investigated to discover if he was put under pressure by the company, which tried to offer passengers compensation in the form of a cruise on the same ship around the Adriatic Sea or to reimburse the cost of the cruise, and this is not enough, it is only a way of deceiving people, he said. The compensation demands will be co-ordinated from Madrid by Miguel Gordillo. The captain put all the passengers in danger, when he acted with arrogance thinking that he could beat the storm, said Fernández.
A spokesperson from V. Ships, the company responsible for the crew onboard and the day-to-day management, said yesterday that the captain, as well as the rest of the crew, acted absolutely correctly in the situation because there were no out-of-the ordinary weather forecasts warning boats not to leave Tunisia Sunday night. The weather forecasts predicted winds of between 4 and 7 knots for the crossing, which is perfectly viable weather even for smaller boats, said the spokesperson. Once the ship was near to Minorca, they came across 8 and 9 knots of wind, which still does not present difficulties for a cruise liner, he added, it was the exceptional waves which are not usually associated with these speeds, that caused the incident.