Two cruise passengers have spoken out about a harrowing experience that forever changed their lives.
They told The Independent they were severely injured during a shore excursion to a volcano in 2019.
Since the incident, the pair have been locked in a legal battle, along with other passengers.
Two Royal Caribbean cruise passengers have spoken out about a harrowing experience they endured during an excursion to a volcanic site.
In an interview with The Independent on Thursday, Matt Urey and Lauren Barham said that in 2019, a volcano they were visiting during a shore excursion erupted in front of them. It caused severe injuries, according to the pair, who live in Richmond, Virginia.
They told the outlet that the recent volcanic eruption near Tonga filled them with a sense of dread, given their own experiences.
In December 2019, Urey and Barham boarded Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas to celebrate their honeymoon, according to a lawsuit that was filed two years ago.
On one day, the couple took a trip to New Zealand's White Island Volcano as part of a shore excursion. They said they were led to what appeared to be the center, when it erupted shortly afterwards, leaving the couple with severe burns.
Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
According to the couple's lawsuit, Urey suffered burns to 54% of his body and Barham to 23% of her body.
"We literally took off running for our lives," Urey told The Independent. "It was pure terror."
Multiple publications reported at the time that 22 people were killed in the catastrophic eruption and dozens were left with burns.
"We heard our tour guide shout run, and that was when it all hit," Urey said. Barham added that she was sure she was going to die.
The couple alleged in their lawsuit that Royal Caribbean failed to alert cruise passengers about the risks involved in visiting the island.
Royal Caribbean has its headquarters in Florida, which in June 2021, was ruled to be the correct jurisdiction for legal action taken on behalf of fellow passengers to proceed.
Recently, some current and former Royal Caribbean staff members complained of unsatisfactory quarantine experiences after contracting COVID-19.
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