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Ipswich/South America: Luxury cruise liner forced to stop after suffering mechanical problems

PUBLISHED: 22:34 09 February 2014 | UPDATED: 22:34 09 February 2014

Luxury liner breaks down

Luxury liner breaks down

Archant

One of an Ipswich-based company’s luxury cruise ships believed to be carrying hundreds of Britons on a round-the-world trip has been forced to stop near the tip of South America after suffering mechanical problems.

The Black Watch, which set-sail from Southampton on January 14, has anchored off Chile while its steering gear is fixed, according to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

It is the latest incident to affect the voyage, with the company confirming a passenger died after falling overboard 70-miles off the coast of Brazil on January 30 as it made its way south through the Atlantic.

And on a previous 12-night luxury cruise between Scotland, Scandinavia and St Petersburg last September, around 130 people on the Black Watch caught a sickness and diarrhoea bug.

The vessel, which can hold 804 passengers, stopped near Isla Picton close to the Argentine border around 50 miles north of Cape Horn this morning, a spokeswoman for Fred Olsen said, because of a “technical issue with the ship’s steering gear”.

“It was necessary to anchor the ship in order to investigate the problem, and this is now in the process of being rectified,” she said.

“All the relevant authorities and port agent were informed of the need to anchor the ship in order to make the necessary investigations, and guests have been kept updated on developments throughout the day.”

The ship is expected to continue its 114-night “South American and World Voyage” cruise after repairs are completed.

Its next port of call is Valparaiso in Chile, where it is expected to arrive on February 15.

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