G.A.P. Adventures of Toronto, initially described the damage as a ''fist-size hole,'' but the Argentine navy later told The Associated Press it observed ''significant'' damage to the hull
Crew members issued their first emergency
call at 12:30 a.m. EST, said Marie Ann MacRae, a spokeswoman for G.A.P. Adventures. Hours later, the 154 people aboard - including 23 British, 17 Dutch, 13 American and 10 Canadian passengers - prepared to abandon ship.
The 246 Ft, 2,400-tonne ms “Explorer” was built in Finland
in 1969 and was equipped with an ice-hardened double hull
(Det Norske Veritas rated 1A1 ice A), according to G.A.P. Adventures, which advertised her as a "go-anywhere ship for the go-anywhere traveler." The company prided the vessel as being the world's first purpose-built expedition cruise ship
designed specifically for polar destinations.
G.A.P. bought “Explorer” in June 2004. The vessel was managed by V.Ships Leisure until November 2006, when Gap Shipping
took management in-house.
This wasn’t the first time the “Explorer” has had problems in this region. In 1972 she ran aground near La Plaza Point in Antarctica during a storm.
Nor is this the first time, this year, that a ship has been in distress
in Antarctica. Last February the “Nisshin Maru”, the Japanese whaling factory ship caught fire, and was dead in the water
for 10 days. In January, the Norwegian cruise ship
MS “Nordkapp” ran aground off Deception Island (in the South Shetland Islands group).
Sinking cruiseship -inspectors found defects ~ By David Osler
Goto: Lloyd's List - News
G.A.P. Explorer Update - November 23, 2007 (Nothing New):
Adventure, expedition cruises aboard Explorer - G.A.P Adventures