HomeOutdoorsNewsPassengers on Cruise Ship Hit by Rogue Wave Speak Out About Terrifying Incident

Passengers on Cruise Ship Hit by Rogue Wave Speak Out About Terrifying Incident

by Amy Myers
Photo by Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When a rogue wave hit a Viking line cruise ship, the leisure atmosphere turned chaotic as the vessel’s crew struggled to gain control over the situation.

Just before the storm sent the massive wave into the side of the cruise ship, activities carried on as usual. Passengers recalled the horrific moment when life on the vessel came to a stop. Some likened the wave crashing into the side of the ship to hitting a brick wall. Others reported it felt like two cars crashing into one another.

Among the passengers were Deborah Terry, 69 and her wife Tamarah Castaneda, 61, who were on the third floor in their cabin when the wave hit.

“We were on the third floor and the waves were easily 40 feet high and were breaking through our window,” Terry an avid traveler told DailyMail.com. “I had every confidence that we were going to get through this and that the ship would be able to withstand the waves.”

“You couldn’t hear the ship moving. I thought we stopped,”  Castaneda said.

The couple also remembered hearing crew members saying that the cruise ship had taken on water, though they didn’t know where or how much.

Captain Announces Death of Ship Passenger

The day after the incident, Terry recalled the captain of the cruise ship coming onto the loudspeaker and announcing tragic news – a passenger died as a result of the rogue wave.

“Her voice was hesitant … choking,” Terry explained. “She said, ‘Unfortunately we lost a passenger in the incident. We are going to cut the trip short. Let’s take a moment of silence.'”

The victim was Sheri Zhu, 62, of California. She was traveling with her husband at the time, who also sustained injuries during the chaos. According to Terry and Castaneda, Zhu had family back in Taiwan, but there’s not much else known about the victim beyond that. Authorities have yet to release very many details about her death, either.

Another Cruise Ship Passenger Required Emergency Evac Following Leg Injury

The wave wasn’t even the first incident the cruise ship experienced that day. Already, the captain had to make the call to turn back after another passenger shattered their leg and another fell overboard during an excursion.

“The man must have been in the water for a few seconds,” Terry added. 

Soon enough, a medical helicopter arrived on the scene as the cruise ship’s staff wasn’t equipped to treat the severe injury on site.

“A helicopter couldn’t come in because of the weather and there were no other ships close to us so,” Terry said. “We were told all the other activities were cancelled. My wife and I understood but we were disappointed.”

Understandably, the tragic incident has made the couple think twice before booking any future cruise plans.

“We will probably not do this again. We made it to Antarctica. Mission accomplished. We have no more vacations planned at this time,” said Terry.