A holiday cruise ship is being forced to wait outside Sydney as massive seas prevent it from entering the harbour.
The Carnival Spirit’s 2,500 guests have endured rolling waves all day Tuesday after Sydney Harbour was closed due to the huge nine meter swell pounding through the heads, caused by the violent storm systems lashing the eastern Australian coast.
The holiday ship, returning from a voyage to Fiji, will remain stranded until the heavy seas subside and a harbour pilot is able to board the vessel to help guide it to port.
The NSW Port Authority says at least another 15 ships likewise are waiting off Sydney for the weather to settle. 21 ships were said to be similarly waiting off Newcastle which was being hit by some of the most severe weather on Tuesday night.
While guests aboard Carnival Spirit are reportedly comfortable and supplies are plentiful, concern and fear among is said to be increasing.
“It was very scary, there were huge seas,” passenger Diane Armstrong told Fairfax Media.
“Somebody said they came down the stairs and there were people in the stairwell huddled together, scared out of their wits.
“Somebody’s got their dog at home. It was arranged to be fed up until yesterday but he hasn’t got anyone’s phone number to tell them the dog still has to be fed.”
Ms Armstrong added: “We’re a little bit concerned about where we are going and what’s happening. We’re on a floating island and we should have been home.”
Some Carnival Spirit passengers have passed the time by filming and posting videos of the raging seas on social media:
However, according to Port Authority Chief Operation Officer Phil Holliday: “There’s no immediate danger.”
“We’re in agreement to ride the storm out here and we will get them in as soon as possible,” Holliday said, confident that the vessel will be able to dock either on Wednesday or Thursday.
TOP IMAGE: The Carnival Spirit cruise ship docked in Sydney, Australia. (Library image – Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com)