Cruise passenger describes the moment their ship was hit by a rogue wave: 'You could just see a wall of water, no sky or anything'

  • A rogue wave smashed into a cruise ship on Thursday, causing it to lose power, Reuters reported.

  • The wave struck the Norwegian ship, the MS Maud, and knocked out its navigation abilities.

  • A passenger on board said that at one point, she could just see "a wall of water, no sky or anything."

The MS Maud, a Norwegian cruise ship, lost its ability to navigate after a rogue wave knocked out its power on Thursday.

The ship, operated by HX, a cruise company owned by Norway's Hurtigruten Group, was about 120 miles from Denmark's west coast when the wave struck, Reuters reported. The wave's force shattered some of the ship's windows and caused it to tilt "pretty violently," passenger Elizabeth Lawrence told Business Insider. She was one of 266 passengers and 131 crew members.

Lawrence, who had picked the cruise to see the Northern Lights, said the day started out with fairly big waves but that the captain had let passengers know to expect that. But as the day went on, the waves got bigger until they were large enough to spray her window on the sixth deck, she said.

"The situation started with the ship's horn sounding for an extremely long time, then the PA system came on, and we just heard scuffling and general moving around noises," Lawrence said. Then, passengers heard the alarm that meant they should head to their muster stations — the place on board where guests gather in case of an emergency.

"I only had to go down a nearby flight of stairs to get to my muster station in the main restaurant, but the ship was tilting pretty violently. When it was all the way over to one side, you could just see a wall of water, no sky or anything," she told BI.

Lawrence added that while in their muster stations, passengers were given "survival suits" — or suits that "dramatically extend survival times" with insulation, per the Coast Guard.

She said they didn't get an update for about 20 minutes but that, during that time, crew members helped guests put on their suits, reassured nervous passengers, and brought out water and snacks once things had calmed down.

According to Reuters, a tow boat arrived to help the ship Thursday night. Hurtigruten told the outlet in a statement that no serious injuries resulted from the rogue wave.

"At this time, the ship has confirmed that no serious passenger or crew injuries have been sustained as a result of the incident and the condition of the ship remains stable," the statement said.

Lawrence told BI that while she probably won't head to the North Sea in the winter again, she would still cruise with HX in the future.

"The whole thing was very scary at the time, but I think everything was handled as well as possible, considering the circumstances," she said.

Read the original article on Business Insider