Cruise ship carrying British tourists forced to stop in South America



A cruise ship carrying hundreds of Britons on a round-the-world trip has been forced to stop near the tip of South America following mechanical problems.

A Fred Olsen spokesman said the Black Watch vessel, which set off from Southampton on 14 January and can hold 804 passengers, stopped near Isla Picton close to the Argentine border on Sunday.

She told ITV News there had been an issue with the ship's steering gear, adding: "It was necessary to anchor the ship in order to investigate the problem, and this is now in the process of being rectified."

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 30 January as the vessel made its way south through rough seas after leaving Rio de Janeiro.

The company spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: "The ship turned around immediately and returned to search the area.

"A body was sighted floating in the water, but due to the bad sea conditions, with waves of up to three metres and 30-knot winds, it was not possible for the ship to recover the body.

"The circumstances of the incident are being investigated fully, and Fred Olsen is working closely with all the relevant international authorities."

The ship will continue its 114-night South American and World Voyage after repairs are completed, and is scheduled to stop at Valparaiso in Chile on 15 February.

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