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Viking Polaris passengers speak out after 'rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship, killing American woman

Ship reportedly was crossing drake passage between south america and antarctica.

Greg Norman

Large waves hit glass of Antarctica cruise ship as it navigates the Drake Passage

One American woman was killed and four others injured after a rogue wave hit the cruise ship. (Credit: Ann Clark Mah)

Passengers onboard the Viking Polaris cruise ship that was hit by a "rogue wave" during a voyage to Antartica, killing an American woman, are now speaking out, saying a "wall of seawater" came onto the vessel. 

Sheri Zhu, 62, has been identified by ABC News as the person who died during the incident last Tuesday, citing Secretary of the Ushuaia Federal Court Melina Rodriguez. The ship was traveling to Ushuaia, Argentina, when it was struck and Fox News Digital has reached out to the government there for further comment. 

"If somebody had told me we had hit an iceberg I would have believed them," Tamarah Castaneda, a passenger from San Diego onboard the Polaris, told ABC’s "Good Morning America." 

"The windows came crashing in, there was this wall of seawater that came in," she added. "Beds were being shoved up against the doors so that they were not able to get out of their rooms." 

US WOMAN KILLED WHEN ‘ROGUE WAVE’ STRIKES ANTARCTIC CRUISE SHIP  

Viking Polaris

Viking Polaris ship of norwegian flag, is seen anchored in waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Ushuaia, southern Argentina, on December 1, 2022. - One person was killed, and four other passengers. (ALEXIS DELELISI/AFP via Getty Images)

Beverly Spiker of California also told ABC News that a "huge smash" against the window of the cabin she and her husband were staying in caused the frame to shatter, adding, "A lot of water came shooting in." 

The incident reportedly happened around 10:40 p.m. local time while the ship was sailing through the Drake Passage – a traverse between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica known for its rough waters. 

Viking Polaris Drake Passage

Waves are seen crashing alongside the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it recently was sailing in the Drake Passage. (Ann Clark Mah)

Argentine authorities said the woman who died was hit by broken glass when the wave broke cabin windows. The ship suffered limited damage and arrived in Ushuaia, 1,926 miles south of Buenos Aires, the next day. 

"It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident," Viking Cruises said in a statement. "We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies." 

Viking Polaris

The Norwegian-flagged cruise ship Viking Polaris, left, and MV World Explorer ship, chartered by Quark Expeditions, are seen anchored in waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Ushuaia, southern Argentina, on Dec. 1, 2022. (ALEXIS DELELISI/AFP via Getty Images)

Four passengers who were injured were treated onboard the ship by a doctor and medical staff for non-life-threatening injuries, the company said.

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Rogue waves, also known as "extreme storm waves" by scientists, are greater than twice the size of surrounding waves and often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.

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'Rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship, leaves 1 dead and 4 injured

The Viking Polaris ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, at the time.

An American passenger on an Antarctic cruise died and four other guests were injured after their Viking ship was struck by a "rogue wave," officials said.

The incident happened on Tuesday around 10:40 p.m. local time while the Viking Polaris ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, Viking said.

MORE: Carnival cruise passenger who went overboard was 'dead set' on surviving

A guest died following the incident, Viking said, though did not share further details on the cause of death. The victim's family has been notified, the company said.

The passenger killed was a U.S. citizen, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to ABC News Friday.

"We are offering all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the family during this difficult time, we have no further comment," the spokesperson said.

The victim was confirmed as Sheri Zhu, 62, by Secretary of the Ushuaia Federal Court Melina Rodriguez.

Four other guests sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident and were treated by the ship's doctor and medical staff, Viking said.

"We are investigating the facts surrounding this incident and will offer our support to the relevant authorities," Viking said in a statement Thursday. "Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew, and we are working directly with them to arrange return travel."

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

The ship sustained "limited damage" from the rogue wave and arrived in Ushuaia on Wednesday "without further incident," Viking said. Images taken of the docked ship showed several damaged windows.

Passengers on board the ship described choppy conditions leading up to the incident.

Californian Beverly Spiker told ABC News that a "huge smash" against the window of her and her husband's cabin caused her window frame to break.

"Clearly something big had happened," she said. "A lot of water came shooting in."

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"Luckily, our windows did hold," she added, though said other rooms on their side of the ship were "washed out."

PHOTO: Damaged windows can be seen on the Viking Polaris after it was hit by a rogue wave.

Spiker's cousin, Suzie Gooding, of North Carolina, told ABC News that at the time, the ship was going through the Drake Passage, "which is well-known for having turbulent seas."

Gooding said despite the conditions outside looking "horrible," the inside was "like a normal cruise ship" leading up to the incident. She said she felt a "sudden shudder" that caused cabinets to open.

"It was just unbelievable," she said. "At the time that it happened, we personally wondered if, you know, we knew that we weren't by any icebergs, but it's like, did we hit an iceberg? It just was so sudden."

Spiker said she and other passengers were "shook up" afterward.

"No matter what side of the boat you're on, it was felt throughout the ship that clearly something bad had happened," she said. "So everybody was pretty shook up."

MORE: Passengers hurt aboard Norwegian cruise ship after unexpected wind strikes: I felt 'like we're going to die'

The ship is docked as passengers await further travel plans from Viking, according to Gooding, who said that two other ships in their bay in Ushuaia were also damaged, possibly by rogue waves.

The Viking Polaris ship's next departure for the Antarctic, scheduled for Dec. 5, has been canceled "after careful consideration," the cruise line said.

Rogue, or extreme storm, waves are "greater than twice the size of surrounding waves" and are "very unpredictable," according to the National Ocean Service .

Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of South America, is a common starting point for cruises to Antarctica.

ABC News' Matthew Seyler contributed to this report.

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‘rogue wave’ kills american woman, injures four on antarctic cruise.

Tara Subramaniam

One passenger was killed and four injured when a “rogue wave” hit their cruise ship during a storm earlier this week.

The passengers had been taking an Antarctic cruise aboard the Viking Polaris when it was hit by the storm as it sailed towards Ushuaia, Argentina, late on Tuesday evening.

The storm caused a giant wave that broke several panes of glass on the cruise ship and these fell onto and killed an American woman.

Viking Cruises confirmed in a statement issued Saturday that the ship had been hit by a “rogue wave” – a type of wave the US National Ocean Service describes as being “greater than twice the size of surrounding waves.”

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident,” Viking Cruises said.

It did not reveal the passenger’s name or nationality.

However, the Argentine state news agency Telam said the dead passenger was an American woman who “received blows from a glass surface that collapsed in the middle of the storm.”

“Four other guests sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident and were treated by the ship’s onboard doctor and medical staff,” Viking said.

The cruise line said it is investigating and has canceled the Viking Polaris’ next trip scheduled for December 5 to 17.

The boat arrived in Argentina Wednesday and had sustained “limited damage” during the incident, Viking Cruises said.

The US National Ocean Service describes rogue waves as being “very unpredictable” and says they often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves.”

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Rogue Wave Strikes Cruise Ship, Killing a Passenger and Injuring 4 Others

The passengers were hurt after a large, unpredictable wave hit the ship, which was traveling toward the Antarctic, Viking Cruises said.

A large white cruise ship on a grey-blue sea faces left with blue mountains in the background.

By Amanda Holpuch

A passenger died and four others were injured after a large, unexpected wave hit a cruise ship traveling toward a popular launching point for expeditions to Antarctica, Viking Cruises said.

The ship, the Viking Polaris, was struck by a “rogue wave” on Tuesday at 10:40 p.m. local time while traveling toward Ushuaia, Argentina, which is on the southern tip of South America, Viking Cruises said in a statement .

Viking Cruises did not say how the passenger was killed or provide the passenger’s name. The four passengers who were injured were treated by onboard medical staff and had non-life-threatening injuries, Viking Cruises said.

A State Department official said that a U.S. citizen died and that the department was offering consular assistance to the person’s family.

Rogue waves are unpredictable, typically twice the size of surrounding waves and often come from a different direction than the surrounding wind and waves, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Scientists are still trying to figure out how and when these uncommon waves form.

Ann Mah, of Topeka, Kan., told the news station WIBW that she and her husband were on the ship when it was hit by the wave and that it was “just like your whole house got shook really hard.”

“I mean, it was just a thud,” Ms. Mah said.

The Viking Polaris was launched this year and was designed for travel to remote destinations such as the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship is 665 feet long and can carry 378 passengers and 256 crew members.

The ship sustained “limited damage” from the wave and arrived in Ushuaia the day after it was struck, Viking Cruises said.

The cruise company canceled the Viking Polaris’s next scheduled trip, a 13-day cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula.

“We are investigating the facts surrounding this incident and will offer our support to the relevant authorities,” the company said.

Tourism to the Antarctic has steadily increased in the last 30 years, with 74,401 people traveling there in the 2019-20 season, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Roughly 6,700 people traveled there in the 1992-93 season, according to the association.

In recent years, some observers have warned that the increase in tourism may not be sustainable and that it could threaten visitor safety or disrupt the fragile environment, which is already straining under the effects of climate change.

It is the beginning of the Antarctic tourism season, which coincides with its summer, beginning in late October or early November and usually lasting until March.

The death on the Viking Cruises ship this week comes after the death of two other cruise ship passengers in the Antarctic last month. Two Quark Expeditions cruise ship passengers died after one of the ship’s heavy duty inflatable Zodiac boats overturned near shore, Seatrade Cruise News reported .

Amanda Holpuch is a general assignment reporter. More about Amanda Holpuch

'Rogue wave' kills US passenger on Antarctic cruise ship, injures four others

Side view of Viking Polaris cruise ship showing broken windows.

One person has died and four have been injured after a massive wave smashed into an Antarctic cruise ship during a storm, while sailing off the southernmost tip of South America.

Key points:

  • Authorities say a 62-year-old woman from the US was hit by broken glass when a wave broke cabin windows
  • Four other tourists sustained "non-life-threatening injuries" and were treated onboard
  • The ship suffered minor damage and was anchored off Ushuaia, 3,200 kilometres from the capital Buenos Aires

The 62-year-old woman from the US was hit by broken glass when the wave broke cabin windows late Tuesday during a storm, Argentine authorities said.

The Viking Polaris cruise ship was sailing towards Ushuaia in Argentina -- the main starting point for expeditions to Antarctica -- when there was "a rogue wave incident," a representative of the Viking cruise company said in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest's family and shared our deepest sympathies," the statement said.

Four other tourists "sustained non-life-threatening injuries" and were treated onboard.

The ship suffered minor damage and was anchored off Ushuaia, 3,200 kilometres from the capital Buenos Aires, with several windows smashed on the side, AFP journalists reported.

A federal court has opened a case to determine what happened. Viking said it was also "investigating the facts surrounding this incident."

Scientists often refer to rogue waves as extreme storm waves that surge out of nowhere, often in an unpredictable direction, and can look like a steep wall of water, up to twice the size of surrounding waves.

These rare killer waves were once seen as a myth reported by mariners or explorers.

The polar explorer Ernest Shackleton wrote in his book of a "gigantic" freak wave he encountered in Antarctica in 1916.

However, scientists have learned more about them in recent decades, studying how they emerge and how to predict the wall of water that can surge up even in calm seas.

The Viking Polaris was launched in 2022 and is the newest ship in the company's fleet, with a capacity for 378 passengers and 256 crew members.

The incident comes two weeks after two tourists died on another Antarctic cruise.

The two men, aged 76 and 80, had left the World Explorer ship for an excursion on an inflatable zodiac boat that overturned near the shore.

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US Citizen Killed When ‘Rogue' Wave Hit Viking Cruise Ship in Antarctic

The 62-year-old woman was hit by broken glass when the wave broke cabin windows late tuesday during a storm, argentine authorities said, by ap and staff • published december 2, 2022 • updated on december 4, 2022 at 10:34 am.

A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.

The 62-year-old woman was hit by broken glass when the wave broke cabin windows late Tuesday during a storm, Argentine authorities said. The ship suffered limited damage and arrived in Ushuaia, 1,926 miles south of Buenos Aires, the next day.

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident," Viking said in a statement. “We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies.”

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

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Neither the statement nor the Argentine Naval Prefecture identified the woman or her hometown.

Viking called it a “rogue wave incident” and said the four other passengers' injuries were non-life threatening.

A North Carolina couple aboard the ship told NBC affiliate WRAL that they thought "we hit an iceberg" when the wave crashed into the cruise ship.

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"There are no icebergs out here, but that's how it felt," Suzie Gooding said.

Gooding told the news station that the impact was "shocking" because it happened so suddenly.

"We didn't know if we should get our gear ready for abandoning ship," she added.

The cruise ship was anchored near Ushuaia, where a federal court has opened a case to determine what happened.

NOAA's National Ocean Service describes these "rogue" waves as "walls of water" that are often steep-sided with unusually deep troughs.

"Rogues, called 'extreme storm waves' by scientists, are those waves which are greater than twice the size of surrounding waves, are very unpredictable, and often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves," the agency explains.

The company indicated on its website that to explore remote regions of the world they have “two purpose-built, state-of-the-art small expedition-class ships: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris.”

The Viking Polaris, a vessel that has luxury facilities and was built in 2022, has capacity for 378 passengers and 256 crew members.

This article tagged under:

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

They were rocked by blast and rogue wave during Antarctic cruise. They share their story.

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

One second, Pam Trusdale was sitting in a heavy-duty inflatable boat happily taking video of penguins in Antarctica.

The next, the Topeka woman was thrown into the air by an explosion .

Two other passengers also went airborne after the blast beneath the boat's floor.

One woman suffered a badly broken leg.

The other passenger spent perhaps two minutes in the water before he was pulled back onto the boat.

Trusdale, her husband, Tom, and the boat's other occupants subsequently learned that the Viking Polaris, the ship on which they were taking a cruise, wasn't capable of providing the medical attention the woman needed.

So the cruise ship headed north through gale-force winds and rough waters toward South America. En route, it was struck by a giant rogue wave , which killed one passenger and injured four others.

Trusdale shared that account of her experiences Friday in a telephone interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, from Ushuaia, Argentina, where she and her husband were waiting to return to the United States.

"We've had a little bit of excitement that we hadn't anticipated," she said.

'Trip of a lifetime'

The trip to Antarctica was the eighth on Viking Cruise Lines for the Trusdales, who are retired and have been married for 10 years.

"We've seen a lot of the world," Pam Trusdale said.

She is the widow of Col. Mike O'Toole, wing commander of the 190th Air Refueling Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard, who died in 2003 in a plane crash on takeoff from a private airport in northeast Shawnee County. Pam Trusdale and their adult daughter, Shannon O'Toole Mason, survived after being hospitalized for injuries suffered in that crash.

After her husband died, Pam reconnected with Tom Trusdale, her high school sweetheart. They've enjoyed numerous adventures, including climbing Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.

Pam Trusdale said she had been particularly excited about the couple's cruise to Antarctica.

The Trusdales booked passage on the Viking Polaris, identified on  Viking Cruise Lines' website as a 665-foot-long cruise ship that was built this year and has the capacity to house 256 crew members and 378 guests.

"It was kind of our 'trip of a lifetime,'" Pam Trusdale said.

Though the Trusdales hadn't known it, others on the Antarctica cruise included Shawnee County Treasurer Larry Mah and his wife, Ann Mah , a member of the Kansas State Board of Education.

The couples spent time together on the cruise, though the Mahs weren't with the Trusdales on the excursion that turned dangerous.

'We dragged him in on his back'

The Trusdales were among three couples who made plans to ride Monday morning in a small, yellow submarine. Neither of the other couples were from Kansas.

They all got into a heavy-duty inflatable boat known as a Zodiac.

The weather was nice for Antarctica, with overcast skies and temperatures around 30 degrees, as the Zodiac's pilot took the three couples to the area where they were to board the submarine, Pam Trusdale said.

They learned they would have to wait 20 minutes, and the driver started "cruising around," she said.

At the time, Pam Trusdale was sitting at the front of the Zodiac, with her husband next to her.

As she was holding onto a rope attached to the boat with one hand and taking cell phone video of penguins with the other, she said, a "pretty significant explosion" took place beneath the floor between the front two passengers.

Watch:  'Heroic' mother comes to the rescue after raccoon attacks 5-year-old daughter, video shows

'It could have been so much worse'

The woman sitting directly across from Trusdale took the brunt of the impact, suffering a badly broken leg.

Another passenger on that side was thrown from the boat.

Pam Trusdale managed to hold onto her phone. She and her husband crossed over to the other side and helped to stop the boat. Tom Trusdale, another male passenger and the Zodiac pilot pulled the man back into the Zodiac on his back, Pam Trusdale said.

"Tom knew exactly what to do," she said. "I just stayed on the floor and waited for help."

Meanwhile, a woman who was sitting on the opposite side of the boat moved over to the side the Trusdales had been sitting on to make sure it remained balanced.

"We couldn't have been with better people, because everyone was calm under pressure," Pam Trusdale said. "Everything was under control."

The Zodiac pilot responded calmly and professionally, and Viking got them all the help they needed immediately, she said.

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'It was just so scary'

Pam Trusdale was wearing an ankle brace Friday because of minor injuries suffered in the accident.

"It just hurts to walk, because I bruised my heel," she said. "My left leg is worse than my right."

Pam Trusdale said while she feels lucky to be alive, she never felt the experience was life-threatening.

"It was just scary," she said. "It could have been so much worse."

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

A rogue wave hit the cruise ship during a storm

Ann Mah wrote on her Facebook page about the blast and its aftermath.

"They couldn’t helicopter (the woman) out in the weather, and she needs attention the boat can’t provide," she said. "So we are headed back to Ushuaia, Argentina."

The Drake passage, the body of water that lies between South America's Cape Horn, Chile, and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, was mentioned in a message Larry Mah put Tuesday on his Facebook page.

"Evacuation options are limited, and the weather is deteriorating," he said. "So, we are returning to Ushuaia (Argentina) at top speed. The Drake Channel has gale force winds (30-60 MPH) with waves 15-20 feet high. The next 600 miles is going to be a very rough ride!!"

The cruise ship was bound for Ushuaia Tuesday when it was struck during a storm by a giant "rogue wave," which killed one person and injured four, USA TODAY reported .

"The rogue wave hit the side of the ship where our cabin is, but it mainly impacted Deck 2 at the front," Trusdale said. "We were on Deck 4 at the back."

Ann Mah said she and her husband were in bed in their room on Deck 4 at the front when the rogue wave struck.

"I understand water came in on 3, but nothing like 2," she said. "We had furniture get knocked over in our room, but no damage."

Viking released a statement confirming one of its guests had died.

"We have notified the guest's family and shared our deepest sympathies," it said, adding that four other passengers were treated for injuries that weren't life-threatening by the ship's onboard doctor and medical staff.

The ship "sustained limited damage during the incident," and arrived in Ushuaia on Wednesday afternoon, Viking added.

Trusdale said she learned afterward that if they hadn't been on the Polaris, which has "all the latest technology," the damage from the storm could have been much worse.

The damage from the storm caused Viking Cruise Lines to abandon its initial plans to cruise along the Chilean coast for a few days, and to instead drop off all its passengers at Ushuaia.

'This won't slow us down'

The Trusdales and Mahs remained in Ushuaia on Friday, and it wasn't clear when they might be able to fly back to Topeka.

Still, Pam Trusdale said Viking Cruise Lines has shown the "utmost professionalism" and done a good job of coping with what happened. She said she trusts the company to provide a refund for the trip.

Pam Trusdale added that she and her husband plan to make separate future trips with Viking to Norway and the Mekong Delta, after which they'll have traveled with that cruise line to every continent.

"This won't slow us down," she said.

Deadly 'rogue wave' smashes into cruise ship near Antarctica — but where did it come from?

A suspected rogue wave recently crashed into a cruise ship near Antarctica killing one and injuring four others. Where did it come from?

The Viking Polaris, a Norwegian-flagged cruise ship, is seen anchored by Ushuaia, southern Argentina, on Dec. 1, about two days after a suspected rogue wave hit it, killing one passenger.

A suspected "rogue wave" recently smashed into a cruise ship sailing from Antarctica to Argentina. The freak event killed one person and injured four others. But where do these freakishly tall waves come from? And is climate change expected to make them more common or extreme? 

On the night of Nov. 29, an unusually massive wave hit the cruise ship Viking Polaris as it was sailing through the Drake Passage in Antarctica's Southern Ocean toward Ushuaia, a port in Argentina where many Antarctic cruises start and end, French news agency AFP reported. 

The force of the massive wall of water sent passengers flying and smashed several exterior windows, which flooded some rooms and caused further structural damage inside. A 62-year-old American woman, Sheri Zhu, was killed by injuries sustained from the broken glass and four other people received non-life-threatening injuries, according to Australian news site ABC News . 

"This wave hit and came over and literally broke through windows and just washed into these rooms," Tom Trusdale, a passenger aboard the Viking Polaris when the incident happened, told ABC News. "Not only did it wash into the rooms, but it [also] broke walls down."

Related: What's the tallest wave ever recorded on Earth?

Viking, the travel company that owns the Viking Polaris, announced on Dec. 1 that the tragic event was a suspected "rogue wave incident." Upcoming cruises have been canceled until the ship can be fully repaired and a proper investigation into what happened has been carried out. 

What are rogue waves?

Rogue waves are freak waves that are at least twice as high as the surrounding sea state — the average height of the waves for a given area at a given time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The massive walls of water come from seemingly out of nowhere and without warning.

Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now

Get the world’s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.

The exact mechanisms behind the rogue waves are still unknown, but researchers think the freakish crests are formed when smaller waves merge into larger ones, either due to high surface winds or changes in ocean currents caused by storms, according to NOAA. 

It is currently unclear if the wave that hit the Viking Polaris qualifies as an official rogue wave because there is no accurate data on the wave height or the surrounding sea state. A storm was raging when the wave hit, CNN reported, which could have provided the necessary conditions for a rogue wave to form. But the Drake Passage is also a notoriously treacherous part of the Southern Ocean, with deep waters that are fed by the powerful Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which makes it capable of producing very large non-rogue waves as well, according to Britannica . 

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On Dec. 2, a passenger onboard another cruise ship in the Drake Passage shared a video of another massive, but less destructive, wave on Twitter .

The largest rogue wave ever recorded was the Draupner wave, an 84-foot-tall (25.6 meters) wave that was observed near Norway in 1995. However, the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded was the Ucluelet wave, a 58-foot-tall (17.7 m) wave that was detected by an ocean buoy off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia in November 2020. The Ucluelet wave is regarded as the most extreme rogue wave because it was around three times higher than surrounding waves, while the Draupner wave was only around twice as tall compared with the surrounding sea state.

In 2019, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports predicted that rogue waves could become less frequent but more extreme in the future due to the effects of human-caused climate change. 

Harry Baker

Harry is a U.K.-based senior staff writer at Live Science. He studied marine biology at the University of Exeter before training to become a journalist. He covers a wide range of topics including space exploration, planetary science, space weather, climate change, animal behavior, evolution and paleontology. His feature on the upcoming solar maximum was shortlisted in the "top scoop" category at the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Awards for Excellence in 2023. 

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1 dead, 4 injured after 'rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship

The Viking Polaris ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, at the time.

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A passenger on an Antarctic cruise died and four others were injured after their Viking ship was struck by a "rogue wave," the cruise line said.

The incident happened on Tuesday around 10:40 p.m. local time while the Viking Polaris ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, Viking said.

A guest died following the incident, Viking said, though did not share further details on the cause of death. The victim's family has been notified, the company said. The identity or nationality of the passenger was not released.

Four other guests sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident and were treated by the ship's doctor and medical staff, Viking said.

"We are investigating the facts surrounding this incident and will offer our support to the relevant authorities," Viking said in a statement Thursday. "Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew, and we are working directly with them to arrange return travel."

The ship sustained "limited damage" from the rogue wave and arrived in Ushuaia on Wednesday "without further incident," Viking said. Images taken of the docked ship showed several damaged windows.

Passengers on board the ship described choppy conditions leading up to the incident.

Californian Beverly Spiker told ABC News that a "huge smash" against the window of her and her husband's cabin caused her window frame to break.

"Clearly something big had happened," she said. "A lot of water came shooting in."

"Luckily, our windows did hold," she added, though said other rooms on their side of the ship were "washed out."

SEE ALSO: Cruise ship passenger who went overboard was 'dead set' on surviving during 20-hour wait for rescue

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

Spiker's cousin, Suzie Gooding, of North Carolina, told ABC News that at the time, the ship was going through the Drake Passage, "which is well-known for having turbulent seas."

Gooding said despite the conditions outside looking "horrible," the inside was "like a normal cruise ship" leading up to the incident. She said she felt a "sudden shudder" that caused cabinets to open.

"It was just unbelievable," she said. "At the time that it happened, we personally wondered if, you know, we knew that we weren't by any icebergs, but it's like, did we hit an iceberg? It just was so sudden."

Spiker said she and other passengers were "shook up" afterward.

"No matter what side of the boat you're on, it was felt throughout the ship that clearly something bad had happened," she said. "So everybody was pretty shook up."

The ship is docked as passengers await further travel plans from Viking, according to Gooding, who said that two other ships in their bay in Ushuaia were also damaged, possibly by rogue waves.

The Viking Polaris ship's next departure for the Antarctic, scheduled for Dec. 5, has been canceled "after careful consideration," the cruise line said.

Rogue, or extreme storm, waves are "greater than twice the size of surrounding waves" and are "very unpredictable," according to the National Ocean Service .

Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of South America, is a common starting point for cruises to Antarctica.

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Passengers on Antarctic cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak out

The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, last week.

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Tom and Pam Trusdale were enjoying a bucket list trip to Antarctica , until their trip of a lifetime turned into a deadly disaster.

"It was going real smoothly, and we were only anticipating nothing but smooth going forward," Tom Trusdale told ABC News.

The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, when it was hit by a "rogue wave" last week , killing an American passenger, Sheri Zhu, and injuring four others.

"Good Morning America" airs at 7 a.m. ET on ABC.

The Trusdales said the wave wasn't the only disaster. The Trusdales and ABC News later confirmed that a day before the accident, another passenger was seriously injured during a Zodiac boat excursion.

"It was a real loud, it was a boom, and I flew up in the air, and the passenger across from me flew up in the air. She came down and hit hard," Pam Trusdale said.

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

Tom Trusdale said he saw two passengers tossed into the air from what seemed to be an apparent explosion.

"I saw the woman go, probably about 3 feet in the air, and then the gentleman straight across from me go up in the air, and then roll over into the sea," Tom Trusdale said. "So I went across and leaned over the pontoon, and I just grabbed on to the life jacket. He was face up, so he was stabilized, and I reassured him that, 'Hey, you're safe.'"

Tom Trusdale said he and another passenger were able to quickly pull the man back on the boat, but the woman's leg was severely injured.

"She said, 'I hurt my legs. I can't feel my leg,'" Pam Trusdale said. " And then I could hear her kind of straining that, you know, I could tell that she was in a lot of pain."

The passenger's leg required surgery, which led the ship's captain to turn back to Argentina. During the trip back toward Argentina, through a known turbulent stretch of ocean, was when the "rogue wave" crashed into the cruise ship.

"This wave hit it and came over and literally broke through windows and just washed into these rooms, and not only did it wash into the rooms, but it broke walls down, and once some walls went into the next room," Tom Trusdale said.

Viking said in a statement on its website that it's investigating the wave incident and is committed to the safety and security of all guests and crew.

Viking issued a second statement about the Zodiac boat incident, saying: "On November 28, the Viking Polaris deployed a small boat with six guests and one crew member near Damoy Point, Antarctica. On this trip a guest sustained a serious but non-life-threatening leg injury while on board the small boat and was taken to the medical center on the Viking Polaris."

"Following a detailed diagnosis by the ship's medical team, the decision was taken for the ship to immediately sail to Ushuaia so that the guest could receive additional medical care from a shore-based hospital," it continued. "The guest is now recovering shoreside in Ushuaia and will then return home; Viking is continuing to support them during this period. We are committed to the safety and security of all our guests and crew, and we are investigating the cause of the incident."

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Cruise passenger dies in ‘rogue wave incident’ on Antarctica trip

The large wave hit a viking cruise ship on its way back to southern argentina.

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

One cruise passenger died and four others were injured during an Antarctica voyage this week when a “rogue wave” slammed into the Viking Polaris, Viking Cruises said. An image of the ship captured by Agence France-Presse shows glass windows had been smashed on several lower-level cabins.

The 378-passenger expedition ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, when the wave struck around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident,” the cruise line said in a statement . Representatives did not say what caused the passenger’s death. Viking said the four other people who were hurt did not suffer life-threatening injuries and were treated onboard.

“We are investigating the facts surrounding this incident and will offer our support to the relevant authorities,” the company said.

Coast Guard saves overboard cruise passenger in ‘Thanksgiving miracle’

The Argentine Naval Prefecture, the country’s coast guard, could not be reached for comment.

Viking said Polaris, which joined the company’s fleet in late September, “sustained limited damage” and arrived in Ushuaia on Wednesday.

The company canceled the next departure, a 12-night Antarctic itinerary that was scheduled to start Monday.

The National Ocean Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, describes a rogue wave as being more than twice the size of surrounding waves and says they are “very unpredictable.”

“A ‘rogue wave’ is large, unexpected, and dangerous,” the service says.

A traveler from Durham, N.C., told WRAL News in Raleigh that the impact of the wave was so strong she wondered if the ship had hit an iceberg.

“Everything was fine until the rogue wave hit, and it was just sudden — shocking,” the passenger, Suzie Gooding, told the news station. “We didn’t know if we should get our gear ready for abandoning ship.”

More cruise news

Living at sea: Travelers on a 9-month world cruise are going viral on social media. For some travelers, not even nine months was enough time on a ship; they sold cars, moved out of their homes and prepared to set sail for three years . That plan fell apart, but a 3.5-year version is waiting in the wings.

Passengers beware: It’s not all buffets and dance contests. Crime data reported by cruise lines show that the number of sex crimes has increased compared to previous years. And though man-overboard cases are rare, they are usually deadly .

The more you know: If you’re cruise-curious, here are six tips from a newcomer. Remember that in most cases, extra fees and add-ons will increase the seemingly cheap price of a sailing. And if you happen to get sick , know what to expect on board.

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

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US passenger killed when big wave hits Antarctic cruise ship

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.

The 62-year-old woman was hit by broken glass when the wave broke cabin windows late Tuesday during a storm, Argentine authorities said. The ship suffered limited damage and arrived in Ushuaia, 1,926 miles (3100 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires, the next day.

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident," Viking said in statement. “We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies.”

Neither the statement nor the Argentine Naval Prefecture identified the woman or her hometown.

Viking called it a “rogue wave incident” and said the four other passengers' injuries were non-life threatening.

The cruise ship was anchored near Ushuaia, where a federal court has opened a case to determine what happened.

The company indicated on its website that to explore remote regions of the world they have “two purpose-built, state-of-the-art small expedition-class ships: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris.”

The Viking Polaris, a vessel that has luxury facilities and was built in 2022, has capacity for 378 passengers and 256 crew members.

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Passengers on Antarctic cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak out

VIDEO: Passengers aboard Antarctic ship speak out after 'rogue wave' incident

Tom and Pam Trusdale were enjoying a bucket list trip to Antarctica , until their trip of a lifetime turned into a deadly disaster.

"It was going real smoothly, and we were only anticipating nothing but smooth going forward," Tom Trusdale told ABC News.

The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, when it was hit by a "rogue wave" last week , killing an American passenger, Sheri Zhu, and injuring four others.

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

"Good Morning America" airs at 7 a.m. ET on ABC.

The Trusdales said the wave wasn't the only disaster. The Trusdales and ABC News later confirmed that a day before the accident, another passenger was seriously injured during a Zodiac boat excursion.

"It was a real loud, it was a boom, and I flew up in the air, and the passenger across from me flew up in the air. She came down and hit hard," Pam Trusdale said.

MORE: 'Rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship, leaves 1 dead and 4 injured

Tom Trusdale said he saw two passengers tossed into the air from what seemed to be an apparent explosion.

"I saw the woman go, probably about 3 feet in the air, and then the gentleman straight across from me go up in the air, and then roll over into the sea," Tom Trusdale said. "So I went across and leaned over the pontoon, and I just grabbed on to the life jacket. He was face up, so he was stabilized, and I reassured him that, 'Hey, you're safe.'"

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Tom Trusdale said he and another passenger were able to quickly pull the man back on the boat, but the woman's leg was severely injured.

"She said, 'I hurt my legs. I can't feel my leg,'" Pam Trusdale said. " And then I could hear her kind of straining that, you know, I could tell that she was in a lot of pain."

The passenger's leg required surgery, which led the ship's captain to turn back to Argentina. During the trip back toward Argentina, through a known turbulent stretch of ocean, was when the "rogue wave" crashed into the cruise ship.

"This wave hit it and came over and literally broke through windows and just washed into these rooms, and not only did it wash into the rooms, but it broke walls down, and once some walls went into the next room," Tom Trusdale said.

Viking said in a statement on its website that it's investigating the wave incident and is committed to the safety and security of all guests and crew.

Viking issued a second statement about the Zodiac boat incident, saying: "On November 28, the Viking Polaris deployed a small boat with six guests and one crew member near Damoy Point, Antarctica. On this trip a guest sustained a serious but non-life-threatening leg injury while on board the small boat and was taken to the medical center on the Viking Polaris."

"Following a detailed diagnosis by the ship's medical team, the decision was taken for the ship to immediately sail to Ushuaia so that the guest could receive additional medical care from a shore-based hospital," it continued. "The guest is now recovering shoreside in Ushuaia and will then return home; Viking is continuing to support them during this period. We are committed to the safety and security of all our guests and crew, and we are investigating the cause of the incident."

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Rogue Wave Kills Passenger, Injures 4 on Antarctic Cruise Ship: 'We Wondered if We Hit an Iceberg'

Viking Cruises offered its support to the victim's family and canceled an upcoming departure after its ship was damaged by the rare and mysterious phenomenon known as a rogue wave

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

One person is dead and four others were injured after a rogue wave crashed into a Antarctic cruise ship on Tuesday.

The incident happened on the Viking Polaris as it was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, at the southernmost tip of the continent during a voyage to Antarctica, according to a statement on the company's website .

Four guests were treated for non-life threatening injuries by the ship's medical staff. The cruise ship company did not identify the passenger who died, but said it has notified their family and offered condolences as well as "our full support to the family in the hours and days ahead."

Suzie Gooding, a North Carolina woman who was on the cruise, told local news station WRAL that they felt the impact of the huge wave on the ship.

" We wondered if we hit an iceberg ," she said. "And there are no icebergs out here, but that's how it felt."

She said the wave was completely unexpected. "Everything was fine until the rogue wave hit, and it was just sudden. Shocking," Gooding said. "We didn't know if we should get our gear ready for abandoning ship."

Viking Cruises said the vessel — which just joined its fleet in September — "sustained limited damage."

Images of the ship appear to show broken windows on its lower level.

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a "rogue wave " as a one that is "greater than twice the size of surrounding waves."

The waves, which can look like "walls of water," are "very unpredictable, and often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves," according to the agency.

NOAA says "exactly how and when rogue waves form is still under investigation," adding that because they are so uncommon and can form unexpectedly and disappear quickly, "measurements and analysis of this phenomenon is extremely rare."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

Viking Cruises said it is investigating the incident and "will offer our support" to authorities.

"We have made the difficult decision to cancel the ship's next scheduled departure," the company said in its statement, adding that "all impacted guests and their travel advisors have been notified directly by Viking Customer Relations."

"Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew," the company said in a statement . "We are working directly with them to arrange return travel."

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Rogue Wave Hits Antarctic Cruise Ship, Killing 1 and Injuring 4

The viking polaris was able to reach port after the incident, suffering only minor damage..

A small cruiser ship at sea just off the coast of Antarctica

Viking, a Swiss-based cruise line, has announced that one person died and four people were injured after a massive rogue wave struck one of the company’s ships in the Antarctic. AFP News reports the cruise ship Viking Polaris was hit by the wave during a storm on Tuesday. The ship was headed from Antarctica to Ushuaia in Argentina, the world’s southernmost city.

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The Viking Polaris suffered minor damage, including several smashed windows, and is currently anchored in Ushuaia. The 665-foot-long, seven-deck Viking Polaris was only built this year and can accommodate up to 378 guests. Despite the ship being relatively fine, the passengers were unfortunately not. Viking released a statement that reads, “It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies. We will continue to offer our full support to the family in the hours and days ahead.”

According to the U.S. National Ocean Service , rogue waves have been accepted as real by scientists over the past few decades after enduring centuries as maritime legend. These waves are unpredictable and very dangero us. Rogue waves can be twice the size of surrounding waves, travel against the prevailing winds, and appear to be a wall of water.

Viking has canceled this ship’s next scheduled itinerary. The cruise line stated that it’s investigating the incident and will offer support to the relevant authorities.

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Emperor penguin chicks standing on ice

‘Simply mind-boggling’: world record temperature jump in Antarctic raises fears of catastrophe

An unprecedented leap of 38.5C in the coldest place on Earth is a harbinger of a disaster for humans and the local ecosystem

O n 18 March, 2022, scientists at the Concordia research station on the east Antarctic plateau documented a remarkable event. They recorded the largest jump in temperature ever measured at a meteorological centre on Earth. According to their instruments, the region that day experienced a rise of 38.5C above its seasonal average: a world record.

This startling leap – in the coldest place on the planet – left polar researchers struggling for words to describe it. “It is simply mind-boggling,” said Prof Michael Meredith, science leader at the British Antarctic Survey. “In sub-zero temperatures such a massive leap is tolerable but if we had a 40C rise in the UK now that would take temperatures for a spring day to over 50C – and that would be deadly for the population.”

This amazement was shared by glaciologist Prof Martin Siegert, of the University of Exeter. “No one in our community thought that anything like this could ever happen. It is extraordinary and a real concern,” he told the Observer . “We are now having to wrestle with something that is completely unprecedented.”

Poleward winds, which previously made few inroads into the atmosphere above Antarctica , are now carrying more and more warm, moist air from lower latitudes – including Australia – deep into the continent, say scientists, and these have been blamed for the dramatic polar “heatwave” that hit Concordia. Exactly why these currents are now able to plunge so deep into the continent’s air space is not yet clear, however.

Nor has this huge temperature hike turned out to be an isolated event, scientists have discovered. For the past two years they have been inundated with rising numbers of reports of disturbing meteorological anomalies on the continent. Glaciers bordering the west Antarctic ice-sheet are losing mass to the ocean at an increasing rate, while levels of sea ice, which float on the oceans around the continent, have plunged dramatically, having remained stable for more than a century.

These events have raised fears that the Antarctic, once thought to be too cold to experience the early impacts of global warming, is now succumbing dramatically and rapidly to the swelling levels of greenhouse gases that humans continue to pump into the atmosphere.

These dangers were highlighted by a team of scientists, led by Will Hobbs of the University of Tasmania, in a paper that was published last week in the Journal of Climate . After examining recent changes in sea ice coverage in Antarctica, the group concluded there had been an “abrupt critical transition” in the continent’s climate that could have repercussions for both local Antarctic ecosystems and the global climate system.

“The extreme lows in Antarctic sea ice have led researchers to suggest that a regime shift is under way in the Southern Ocean, and we found multiple lines of evidence that support such a shift to a new sea ice state,” said Hobbs.

The dramatic nature of this transformation was emphasised by Meredith. “Antarctic sea ice coverage actually increased slightly in the late 20th and early 21st century. However, in the middle of the last decade it fell off a cliff. It is a harbinger of the new ground with the Antarctic climate system, and that could be very troubling for the region and for the rest of the planet.”

The continent is now catching up with the Arctic, where the impacts of global warming have, until now, been the most intense experienced across the planet, added Siegert. “The Arctic is currently warming at four times the rate experienced by the rest of the planet. But the Antarctic has started to catch up, so that it is already warming twice as quickly as the planet overall.”

A key reason for the Arctic and Antarctic to be taking disproportionate hits from global warming is because the Earth’s oceans – warmed by fossil-fuel burning – are losing their sea ice at their polar extremities. The dark waters that used to lie below the ice are being exposed and solar radiation is no longer reflected back into space. Instead, it is being absorbed by the sea, further heating the oceans there.

“Essentially, it is a vicious circle of warming oceans and melting of sea ice, though the root cause is humanity and its continuing burning of fossil fuels and its production of greenhouse gases,” said Meredith. “This whole business has to be laid at our door.”

Ice covered peaks in Antarctica

As to the consequences of this meteorological metamorphosis, these could be devastating, researchers warn. If all the ice on Antarctica were to melt, this would raise sea levels around the globe by more than 60 metres. Islands and coastal zones where much of the world’s population now have homes would be inundated.

Such an apocalypse is unlikely to occur for some time, however. Antarctica’s ice sheet covers 14m square kilometres (about 5.4m square miles), roughly the area of the United States and Mexico combined, and contains about 30m cubic kilometres (7.2m cubic miles) of ice – about 60% of the world’s fresh water. This vast covering hides a mountain range that is nearly as high as the Alps, so it will take a very long time for that to melt completely, say scientists.

Nevertheless, there is now a real danger that some significant sea level rises will occur in the next few decades as the ice sheets and glaciers of west Antarctica continue to shrink. These are being eroded at their bases by warming ocean water and could disintegrate in a few decades. If they disappear entirely, that would raise sea levels by 5m – sufficient to cause damage to coastal populations around the world. How quickly that will happen is difficult to assess. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that sea levels are likely to rise between 0.3m to 1.1m by the end of the century. Many experts now fear this is a dangerous underestimate. In the past, climate change deniers accused scientists of exaggerating the threat of global warming. However, the evidence that is now emerging from Antarctica and other parts of the world makes it very clear that scientists did not exaggerate. Indeed, they very probably underrated by a considerable degree the threat that now faces humanity.

“The picture is further confused in Antarctica because, historically, we have had problems getting data,” added Meredith. “We have never had the information about weather and ecosystem, compared with the data we get from the rest of the world, because the continent is so remote and so hostile. Our records are comparatively short and that means that the climate models we have created, although very capable, are based on sparse data. They cannot capture all of the physics, chemistry and biology. They can make predictions that are coherent but they cannot capture the sort of extremes that we’re now beginning to observe.”

The woes facing Antarctica are not merely of human concern, however. “We are already seeing serious ecological impacts that threaten to spread through the food chain,” said Prof Kate Hendry, a chemical oceanographer based at the British Antarctic Survey.

A critical example is provided by the algae which grow under and around sea ice in west Antarctica. This is starting to disappear, with very serious implications, added Hendry. Algae is eaten by krill, the tiny marine crustaceans that are one of the most abundant animals on Earth and which provide food for predators that include fish, penguins, seals and whales. “If krill starts to disappear in the wake of algae, then all sorts of disruption to the food chain will occur,” said Hendry.

The threat posed by the disappearance of krill goes deeper, however. They play a key role in limiting global warming. Algae absorb carbon dioxide. Krill then eat them and excrete it, the faeces sinking to the seabed and staying there. Decreased levels of algae and krill would then mean less carbon from the atmosphere would be deposited on the ocean floor and would instead remain near the sea surface, where it would return to the atmosphere.

“They act like a conveyor belt that takes carbon out of the atmosphere and carries it down to the deep ocean floor where it can be locked away. So if we start messing with that system, there could be all sorts of other knock-on effects for our attempts to cope with the impact of global warming,” added Hendry. “It is a scary scenario. Nevertheless that, unfortunately, is what we are now facing.”

Another victim of the sudden, catastrophic warming that has gripped the continent is its most famous resident: the emperor penguin. Last year the species, which is found only in Antarctica, suffered a catastrophic breeding failure because the platforms of sea ice on which they are born started to break up long before the young penguins could grow waterproof feathers.

“We have never seen emperor penguins fail to breed, at this scale, in a single season,” said Peter Fretwell, of the British Antarctic Survey. “The loss of sea ice in this region during the Antarctic summer made it very unlikely that displaced chicks would survive.”

Researchers say that the discovery of the loss of emperor penguins suggests that more than 90% of colonies will be wiped out by the end of the century, if global warming trends continue at their current disastrous rate. “The chicks cannot live on sea ice until they have fledged,” said Meredith. “After that, they can look after themselves. But the sea ice is breaking up before they reach that stage and mass drowning events are now happening. Colonies of penguins are being wiped out. And that’s a tragedy. This is an iconic species, one that is emblematic of Antarctica and the new vulnerability of its ecosystems.”

The crisis facing the continent has widespread implications. More than 40 nations are signatories of the Antarctic Treaty’s environmental protocol, which is supposed to shield it from a host of different threats, with habitat degradation being one of the most important. The fact that the continent is now undergoing alarming shifts in its ice covering, eco-systems and climate is a clear sign that this protection is no longer being provided.

“The cause of this ecological and meteorological change lies outside the continent,” added Siegert. “It is being caused because the rest of the world is continuing to emit vast amounts carbon dioxide.

“Nevertheless, there is a good case for arguing that if countries are knowingly polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and Antarctica is being affected as a consequence, then the treaty protocol is being breached by its signatories and their behaviour could be challenged on legal and political grounds. It should certainly make for some challenging meetings at the UN in the coming years.”

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It's not for everyone: 3 things to know about Antarctica expedition cruises

W hen James Rameson stepped on land in Antarctica during an expedition cruise last month, it’s possible it was the first time anyone had ever set foot on that part of the ice-covered continent.

When the Zodiac boat arrived at the rocky shore, the expedition leader told the Santa Barbara, California, 13-year-old and his fellow passengers – of which I was one – that our group on board Aurora Expeditions’ Sylvia Earle ship may have been the first to visit that particular spot.

Rameson, who took the cruise as a birthday gift with his father, Tyler, 49, made the most of his sudden pioneer status. “I walked over to this random spot, and I'm like, ‘Look, dad, no one has ever been here,’ ” he told USA TODAY. “It's like, ‘I’m the first person to set foot right here,’ which I thought was pretty cool.”

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Not every trip can offer that. “One of the most incredible things about visiting Antarctica is the feeling of exploration and being somewhere very few people have been before,” said Kristin Winkaffe, a luxury travel designer and founder of Winkaffe Global Travel.

But the continent has become an increasingly popular destination. More than 71,200 people visited the ice during the 2022-2023 season, up from around 24,000 in 2021-2022 in the wake of COVID-19 and just under 56,000 in 2019-2020, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. There has been a surge in inventory , too, with new ships and itineraries from a range of expedition lines.

Here are three things to know about taking an Antarctica cruise:

I did a polar plunge in Antarctica. It meant more than I expected.

1. You’ll have to cross the Drake Passage – maybe

Most expedition cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, and cross the infamous Drake Passage . The waterway is notoriously treacherous, and travelers could experience a rough “Drake Shake” or calm “Drake Lake” during the journey, which takes about two days to complete each way (you may have seen videos of it on TikTok ).

My trip fell somewhere in the middle on the way down with waves as high as about 13 feet. “A lot of people, even if they haven't experienced seasickness before, tend to experience seasickness on the Drake Passage,” Winkaffe said.

Expedition ships tend to be small, but larger cruise ships visit Antarctica as well and guests may feel the impact of the waves less thanks to their size. However, travelers should note that ships carrying more than 500 passengers are not permitted to take them on land , according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. 

Some cruise operators offer flights over the Drake Passage. But Winkaffe warned that those trips are not only “exponentially more expensive” – Antarctica cruises can range from around $5,000 per person to more than $20,000 and those flights could add between $5,000 and $10,000 – but also less reliable since weather in the area can be unpredictable.

“There is the possibility that (ships will) get canceled or delayed due to weather but they're able to cross during worse weather than the flights are,” she said.

Lindblad Expeditions is the latest operator to add the option, allowing guests to skip potentially rough waters and shave time off their trip. CEO and founder Sven-Olof Lindblad said last month at the luxury travel trade show ILTM Cannes that the brand had long held off due to concerns passengers wouldn’t take off and land as scheduled, but that technology has made the flights more predictable, Travel + Leisure reported .

2. You have to be flexible

Given the extreme climate, Antarctica cruises may not always go as planned. 

During my trip with Aurora, the expedition team shared an intended itinerary for the next day each night with guests, with the caveat that it was only a Plan A. After they assessed the conditions upon arrival, we sometimes explored by Zodiac rather than attempting to go on land or relocated altogether.

That may be an adjustment for travelers who have been on other types of cruises with detailed itineraries from start to finish. “Antarctica is a totally different beast in that you basically just have to accept that you’re going on a tour to Antarctica and not get attached to any specific place,” Winkaffe said.

She recommended going into the trip with a “sense of adventure,” and that travelers avoid Googling specific locations ahead of time to minimize disappointment if they don’t make it there. Destinations may also look different from their photos, particularly because the environment changes throughout the year (the Antarctica cruise season runs from October through March , encompassing its summer).

“Everybody has FOMO ( fear of missing out ) and everything, but everybody’s experience is different,” said Jeff Nagel, the assistant expedition leader on my trip.

3. Keep the environment in mind

As harrowing as the Antarctic environment can seem, it’s also vulnerable. Scientists have already warned of dire impacts due to climate change.

That makes visiting with care especially important. On board the expedition with Aurora, we received information on the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators guidelines and followed biosecurity protocols , like cleaning and having our gear inspected to avoid transporting nonnative species and scrubbing our boots after landings (the ship even played songs like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” while we twisted our feet against rubber mats to remove debris).

“We are aware that, of course, in spite of all the work we do to make it as sustainable … as possible, we do have an impact,” said Mario Placidi Spring, the expedition leader on my trip.

What is wave season?: Why you should book your next cruise now

Winkaffe recommended doing research before booking and choosing a cruise operator that is putting effort and money toward operating sustainably.

“I'd like to believe that through our educational programs and (other programming) on board that we are creating ambassadors, and people are going home and maybe thinking about those small changes they can make in their life that will protect these areas and protect the world as a whole,” Nagel added.

Editor’s note: The reporter on this story received access to this expedition from Aurora Expeditions. USA TODAY maintains editorial control of reviews.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: It's not for everyone: 3 things to know about Antarctica expedition cruises

Aurora Expeditions' Sylvia Earle ship.

Danube river cruise ship crashed after it was 'suddenly no longer able to maneuver,' 17 passengers injured

  • A cruise ship crashed into a concrete wall along the Danube river in Austria on Friday.
  • A police statement said the ship "was suddenly no longer able to maneuver."
  • Eleven people were treated at the hospital and another six suffered less serious injuries.

Insider Today

A Bulgarian cruise ship carrying over 140 passengers crashed into a concrete wall along the Danube river in Austria.

The incident occurred late on Friday in the northern Austrian town of Aschach an der Donau, local police said Saturday.

Eleven people were injured and taken to hospital as a result of the crash. Six others suffered less serious injuries that did not require hospital treatment.

Related stories

The ship had set off from Passau, a German city on the Austrian border. A police statement said that as the ship was leaving a lock chamber further down the river, "the ship was suddenly no longer able to maneuver," and its right bow and left aft crashed into the lock walls.

The second-in-command of the ship, who had been at the helm during the crash, "pressed the emergency switch, whereupon the electronics started up again." He was then able to steer the ship out of the lock.

The ship was later docked at the quay wall and emergency services were notified. The ship was able to continue its journey toward Linz, Austria.

Earlier this week, a container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, collapsing a section of the 1.6-mile-long structure. The bodies of two construction workers were found after the collision, and four more workers are missing and presumed dead.

Citing the container ship's recovered data recorder, officials said the power went out on the Dali for just one minute and three seconds as it approached the bridge, Sky News reported, but that was enough for the collision to become unavoidable.

In 2019, a cruise boat hit and sank a smaller boat near Budapest, Hungary, killing 25 South Korean tourists and two crew members. The captain was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the accident.

The Danube is the second-largest river in Europe, flowing from the Black Forest in Germany south into the Black Sea near Romania and Ukraine.

Correction: April 1, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the year of the Danube ship crash in Hungary. It was in 2019, not 2023.

Watch: One of Europe's deadliest shipwrecks leaves hundreds missing

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Antarctica's sea ice hit another low this year—understanding how ocean warming is driving the loss is key

by Craig Stevens, The Conversation

Antarctica's sea ice hit another low this year – understanding how ocean warming is driving the loss is key

At the end of the southern summer, Antarctica's sea ice hit its annual minimum. By at least one measure , which tracks the area of ocean that contains at least 15% of sea ice, it was a little above the record low of 2023.

At the time, I was aboard the Italian icebreaker Laura Bassi, ironically surrounded by sea ice about 10km off Cape Hallett and unable to make our way to one of the expedition's sampling sites.

Even just a decade ago, sea ice reliably rebuilt itself each winter. But something has changed in how the Southern Ocean works and the area covered by sea ice has decreased dramatically.

Our aim was to track the changes happening in the ocean around Antarctica and to make targeted measurements of some of the processes we think are responsible for this loss of sea ice. Most likely, this is a consequence of warming oceans and so we focused on identifying the pathways warmer seawater could find to drive more melting.

The southernmost shelf sea

The annual freeze-thaw cycle of Antarctic sea ice is one of the defining properties of our planet.

It affects the reflectivity of a vast area of the globe, oxygenates the deep ocean , provides habitat across the Southern Ocean food web and plays a role in the resilience of ice shelves.

The voyage was led by a team of scientists who coordinate Italy's longstanding research in the Southern Ocean.

For decades, they have been maintaining instruments in the Ross Sea region and the data they have been collecting are now proving crucial as we seek to understand the implications of sea-ice changes in terms of physics and biogeochemistry .

The expedition sailed a two-month counter-clockwise loop of the continental shelf in the Ross Sea. Continental shelves are shallower and biologically very productive regions that surround all of Earth's continents.

Continental shelf seas around Antarctica are special because of the presence of sea ice—but this varies in space and time.

The US National Snow and Ice Data Center has developed a visualization tool to compare sea-ice conditions during different times.

It shows that by the end of summer, the Ross Sea region holds only a few patches of sea ice. And this year, the patches were even fewer than in the past .

The region is the southernmost open water on the planet and acts as a gateway to seawater flowing in and out under the largest ( by area ) ice shelf on the planet—the Ross Ice Shelf.

The sea ice we encountered came in a variety of thicknesses and snow cover. We could see that in some places, sea ice was present in densities less than a satellite could recognize, but possibly enough to have an influence on how the upper ocean exchanges heat with the atmosphere above.

The state of sea ice

This reinforced our understanding of the importance of the spatial variability of sea ice. Satellites show that most of the sea-ice coverage, at its minimum, was found in a big patch in East Antarctica, due south of Hobart, and the ice-choked Weddell Sea.

The Weddell Sea and its Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf are the Ross Sea's opposite. At the late-summer sea-ice minimum, the Ross Sea is largely free of ice, while the Weddell Sea stays filled with ice.

Antarctica's sea ice hit another low this year – understanding how ocean warming is driving the loss is key

This was the pack-ice nightmare that trapped Shackleton's Endurance over a century ago.

At a personal level, the sights during our expedition were a privilege. They took me beyond anything imagined from data and models. Giant icebergs became common place. Penguins, seals, skua and whales all passed by the ship at various times.

In the same way we send people into space, there are substantial benefits to having scientists on location developing their perspectives on the science. However, it is clear that Antarctic ocean data collection systems need to expand when and where they collect information.

The future is robotic

One feature of the voyage was the use of robots. We deployed 11 relatively simple Argo floats that will drift around the region for years, surfacing to send back data on temperature, salinity and in some cases oxygen.

We also sent three robotic ocean gliders on their data-collecting missions independent of the ship. This meant we could capture flow data in the long north-south troughs that are a feature of the region, while the ship was elsewhere.

We retrieved these robot gliders after several weeks, bringing back unique maps of changing ocean temperature and salinity. The data provide evidence of warmer water lying just beneath the edge of the continental shelf, highlighting the fragility of the system.

There is a growing sense that the Ross Sea sector will become more important in the coming decade. With substantial changes upstream in the Amundsen Sea, where glaciers are retreating at an accelerating rate, and the possibility for warmer water finding its way onto the continental shelf, there is the potential that the largest ice shelf on the planet might start to change.

Provided by The Conversation

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7.4 magnitude quake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years

By Nectar Gan , Wayne Chang , Jerome Taylor, Antoinette Radford, Deva Lee and Maureen Chowdhury , CNN

Our live coverage of the Taiwan earthquake has moved here.

Search and rescue efforts continue after 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

Rescue workers stand near the site of a leaning building in the aftermath of an earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan, on April 3.

Rescuers are working to free dozens trapped after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Taiwan — causing landslides and collapsed structures.

At least nine people have died , more than 900 others are injured and over 100 buildings have been damaged.

The quake is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years .

Here's what else we know:

  • The quake:  The earthquake  hit  at 7:58 a.m. local time, 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of the city of Hualien at a depth of 34.8 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
  • Aftershocks : The quake was followed by 29 aftershocks greater than a magnitude of 4.0 near the epicenter of the earthquake in east Taiwan so far, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Tremors have been felt across the island, including in Taipei. Tremors as high as magnitude 7 are  expected  in the following days.
  • Hualien County:  The region where the quake struck, Hualien County, has a population of about 300,000, around 100,000 of whom live in the main city of Hualien. But many in the region live in remote coastal or mountain communities that  can be hard to reach , so it might take time to understand the extent of Wednesday's quake.
  • Trapped miners: Taiwan's national fire agency said that 71 people are trapped in two mines in Hualien.
  • Power cuts : More than 91,000 households were without electricity, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Command Center.
  • Medical facilities: Hospitals across Taiwan’s capital , Taipei City, are operating normally despite being damaged by Wednesday’s earthquake, according to the Municipal Government.
  • US monitoring: The Biden administration is monitoring the earthquake in Taiwan overnight and is prepared to offer assistance, a National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday. 

71 miners trapped in 2 mines in Taiwan after earthquake, national fire agency says

From CNN's Shawn Deng

Taiwan's national fire agency said that 71 people are trapped in two mines in Hualien after a powerful earthquake struck the island. 

In the Heping mine, there are 64 people trapped, and seven more are trapped in the Zhonghe mine, the fire agency said in a news conference on Wednesday. 

Video shows man swimming in a rooftop pool when massive earthquake hit 

When a magnitude of 7.4 earthquake rocked Taiwan on Wednesday, it struck during the morning commute.

Video shows highway roads shaking and even a man being heavily swayed and rocked on a rooftop pool.

Watch the moment here:

Taiwanese semiconductor facilities will resume production overnight following earthquake

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the chipmaking giant, said on Wednesday that its facilities which were impacted by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake are expected to resume production overnight. 

TSMC reported that their overall tool recovery is at more than 70% within 10 hours of the earthquake striking the island. Safety systems are also operating normally, TSMC added.

The company noted that a small number of tools were damaged but that there was no damage to its extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) tools. Work at construction sites will resume after further inspections are complete, TSMC said.

Earlier, a TSMC spokesperson told CNN they had evacuated some manufacturing plants. All personnel are now safe, TSMC said in an update.

Biden administration monitoring Taiwan earthquake, White House says

From CNN's Sam Fossum

The Biden administration is monitoring the earthquake in Taiwan overnight and is prepared to offer assistance, a National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday. 

"We are monitoring reports of the earthquake impacting Taiwan and continue to monitor its potential impact on Japan. The United States stands ready to provide any necessary assistance. All those affected are in our prayers," a statement from National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

7 major earthquakes have hit Taiwan over the last 50 years

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that killed at least nine people and injured hundreds Wednesday, is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years .

Over the last 50 years, the island has experienced a total of seven major earthquakes, the last being a 7.1 magnitude quake in 2006 in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan.

The island sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire , which makes it prone to earthquakes.

See a full list of the earthquakes that have hit Taiwan:

29 aftershocks above 4.0 magnitude have occurred near epicenter since earthquake, US Geological Survey says

From CNN's Sara Tonks 

There have been 29 aftershocks greater than a magnitude of 4.0 near the epicenter of the earthquake in east Taiwan so far, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Of these aftershocks:

  • One was above 6.0
  • 13 have been at or above 5.0
  • 14 have been above 4.0.

Forecast during recovery efforts: Tonight's forecast in Hualien City, near the epicenter, calls for increasing cloud coverage. Thursday is looking at mostly cloudy skies with afternoon showers and rain Thursday night and Friday during the day.

Rainfall totals should be relatively light for Taiwan, with models calling for under 25 mm (less than 1 inch) by Friday evening local time.

Watch landslide engulf road after 7.4 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan

A dashcam camera has caught the moment a large landslide came down a mountain in Taiwan, triggered by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning.

The quake is the strongest to have rattled the island in 25 years, killing at least nine people and leaving more than 150 trapped.

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Wind-blown ice crystals off Cape Colbeck, Antarctica

Antarctica’s sea ice hit another low this year – understanding how ocean warming is driving the loss is key

antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

Professor in Ocean Physics, University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau

Disclosure statement

Craig Stevens receives funding from the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Antarctica New Zealand Antarctic Science Platform (ASP-ANTA1801), MBIE Strategic Science Investment Fund and the New Zealand Royal Society Te Apārangi Marsden Fund. He is on the Council of the New Zealand Association of Scientists. The observations and collaboration described here were made possible through long-term funding for the work from both the Italian PNRA (Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide) and the NZ Antarctic Science Platform.

University of Auckland provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau provides funding as a member of The Conversation NZ.

View all partners

At the end of the southern summer, Antarctica’s sea ice hit its annual minimum. By at least one measure , which tracks the area of ocean that contains at least 15% of sea ice, it was a little above the record low of 2023.

At the time, I was aboard the Italian icebreaker Laura Bassi , ironically surrounded by sea ice about 10km off Cape Hallett and unable to make our way to one of the expedition’s sampling sites.

Even just a decade ago, sea ice reliably rebuilt itself each winter. But something has changed in how the Southern Ocean works and the area covered by sea ice has decreased dramatically.

Our aim was to track the changes happening in the ocean around Antarctica and to make targeted measurements of some of the processes we think are responsible for this loss of sea ice. Most likely, this is a consequence of warming oceans and so we focused on identifying the pathways warmer seawater could find to drive more melting.

The southernmost shelf sea

The annual freeze-thaw cycle of Antarctic sea ice is one of the defining properties of our planet.

It affects the reflectivity of a vast area of the globe, oxygenates the deep ocean , provides habitat across the Southern Ocean food web and plays a role in the resilience of ice shelves.

Read more: Antarctica's heart of ice has skipped a beat. Time to take our medicine

The voyage was led by a team of scientists who coordinate Italy’s longstanding research in the Southern Ocean.

For decades, they have been maintaining instruments in the Ross Sea region and the data they have been collecting are now proving crucial as we seek to understand the implications of sea-ice changes in terms of physics and biogeochemistry .

A view from the ship's starboard side towards the Ross Ice Shelf

The expedition sailed a two-month counter-clockwise loop of the continental shelf in the Ross Sea. Continental shelves are shallower and biologically very productive regions that surround all of Earth’s continents.

Continental shelf seas around Antarctica are special because of the presence of sea ice – but this varies in space and time.

The US National Snow and Ice Data Center has developed a visualisation tool to compare sea-ice conditions during different times.

It shows that by the end of summer, the Ross Sea region holds only a few patches of sea ice. And this year, the patches were even fewer than in the past .

The region is the southernmost open water on the planet and acts as a gateway to seawater flowing in and out under the largest ( by area ) ice shelf on the planet – the Ross Ice Shelf.

The sea ice we encountered came in a variety of thicknesses and snow cover. We could see that in some places, sea ice was present in densities less than a satellite could recognise, but possibly enough to have an influence on how the upper ocean exchanges heat with the atmosphere above.

Read more: Antarctica is missing a chunk of sea ice bigger than Greenland – what's going on?

The state of sea ice

This reinforced our understanding of the importance of the spatial variability of sea ice. Satellites show that most of the sea-ice coverage, at its minimum, was found in a big patch in East Antarctica, due south of Hobart, and the ice-choked Weddell Sea.

The Weddell Sea and its Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf are the Ross Sea’s opposite. At the late-summer sea-ice minimum, the Ross Sea is largely free of ice, while the Weddell Sea stays filled with ice.

This was the pack-ice nightmare that trapped Shackleton’s Endurance over a century ago.

An animation of Antarctica, showing the minimum extent of sea ice in 2024

At a personal level, the sights during our expedition were a privilege. They took me beyond anything imagined from data and models. Giant icebergs became common place. Penguins, seals, skua and whales all passed by the ship at various times.

In the same way we send people into space, there are substantial benefits to having scientists on location developing their perspectives on the science. However, it is clear that Antarctic ocean data collection systems need to expand when and where they collect information.

Read more: We landed a camera on Venus before seeing parts of our own oceans – it’s time to ramp up observations closer to home

The future is robotic

One feature of the voyage was the use of robots. We deployed 11 relatively simple Argo floats that will drift around the region for years, surfacing to send back data on temperature, salinity and in some cases oxygen.

We also sent three robotic ocean gliders on their data-collecting missions independent of the ship. This meant we could capture flow data in the long north-south troughs that are a feature of the region, while the ship was elsewhere.

Marine scientists preparing a mooring on the deck of the RV Laura Bassi during a voyage of the Ross Sea

We retrieved these robot gliders after several weeks, bringing back unique maps of changing ocean temperature and salinity. The data provide evidence of warmer water lying just beneath the edge of the continental shelf, highlighting the fragility of the system.

There is a growing sense that the Ross Sea sector will become more important in the coming decade. With substantial changes upstream in the Amundsen Sea, where glaciers are retreating at an accelerating rate, and the possibility for warmer water finding its way onto the continental shelf, there is the potential that the largest ice shelf on the planet might start to change.

  • New Zealand stories
  • Continental shelf
  • Ross Ice Shelf
  • Weddell Sea
  • Antarctic sea ice
  • Science + Environment

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Middle East latest: Israel says it will open crossing for aid trucks to enter Gaza tonight

COGAT, the Israeli body which coordinates humanitarian aid to Gaza, has told Sky News' Mark Stone that the crossing next to Erez is to open. Scroll through live updates while you listen to our latest podcast on how tensions are escalating in the region.

Thursday 11 April 2024 23:00, UK

  • Israel-Hamas war
  • Biden says US support for Israel 'ironclad' on Iran
  • Iranian threats against Israel 'unacceptable', PM says
  • UK foreign secretary 'deeply concerned' about possible Iranian 'miscalculation'
  • Israel says crossing will open for aid trucks tonight  
  • Three sons of Hamas leader killed in strike | IDF gives details of attack
  • Alistair Bunkall : Attack from Iran on Israel reported to be imminent
  • Explained: Who is Ismail Haniyeh?
  • Watch: Moment he is told his family has been killed
  • Alex Crawford report : Yemeni fishermen face threat of Houthi attack - but on Gaza they are firmly behind the militants

We'll be back tomorrow morning with more updates on the Israel-Hamas war and wider tensions in the Middle East. 

The US has told its staff in Israel not to travel outside three cities amid the threat of a retaliatory strike from Iran. 

Employees and their family members have been restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva areas, the US embassy said. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, US government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be'er Sheva areas until further notice," it said in a security alert on its website. 

Iran has vowed revenge for a deadly airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus last week.

US President Joe Biden has said Iran was threatening to launch a "significant attack in Israel," and that his country remained committed to its ally's security.

By Alex Rossi , international correspondent

In Ashkelon, an Israeli city on the border of Gaza, they are used to living under rockets from Hamas but they are worried about where this conflict is going and an aerial attack from an even bigger foe.

Along the seafront, on the promenade, a few walkers and runners are out trying to enjoy the warming weather. Others are attempting to celebrate.

At a bar mitzvah on the terrace of a local restaurant, there are drinks and jokes but the talk is of war and security.

Korin Peretz tells me her fears about the future, saying: "I hope there is nothing happening from Iran. It's very terrifying.

"Today we celebrate the bar mitzvah of my son. I couldn't sleep at night, always worrying about this situation and I hope it's all over. It's not comfortable. It doesn't feel very good.

"Our life here in Israel is not safe right now but there is no other place."

For years, Israel and Iran have been enemies, but the shadow war that's been fought between them is now threatening to burst into the open.

There's no doubt Israel is in a dangerous region and since its creation in 1948, it's had to deal with a number of existential threats.

But the trauma of the 7 October Hamas attack has left this nation feeling especially vulnerable

Iran is vowing retaliation after two generals were killed in an airstrike on the consulate in Damascus, Syria.

Read more of Rossi's eyewitness report here ...

Israel has told Sky News it will open a crossing to allow aid trucks into Gaza tonight. 

A spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli body which coordinates humanitarian aid to Gaza, has told our US correspondent Mark Stone the crossing is next to Erez. 

The Port of Ashdod will open to humanitarian aid "in the coming days", he added. 

The intention to open the new crossing and port were announced by the Israeli government last week following a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The original crossing between Israel and Gaza at Erez was heavily damaged during fighting on 7 October, so the aid is expected to cross the border via a newly constructed unofficial crossing point.

Israel would respond directly to any attack by Iran, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said. 

"A direct Iranian attack will require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran," Mr Gallant told the US defence secretary. 

Mr Gallant's comments come as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, with Iran vowing to launch a retaliatory strike to Israel's apparent attack on its embassy in Syria. 

The US has told Iran that it was not involved in an airstrike on its embassy in Syria, the White House has said. 

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed the Iranian building in Damascus, killing a top military commander and marking a major escalation in Middle East tensions. 

Israel has not commented on the attack, but the US military believes the country carried out the airstrike. 

"We communicated to Iran that the US had no involvement in the strike that happened in Damascus and we have warned Iran not to use this attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region or to attack US facilities or personnel," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. 

The US has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran, and US envoys have been working urgently to try to lower tensions. 

"Obviously, we don't want this conflict to spread," Ms Jean-Pierre said. 

The Israeli military has said it "will know how to act where needed" as Iran vowed to retaliate to last week's deadly strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria. 

"An attack from Iranian territory would be clear proof of Iranian intentions to escalate the Middle East and stop hiding behind the proxies," said Israel Defence Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari. 

"In the last few months, we have improved and advanced our offensive capabilities and we will know how to act where needed."

Mr Hagari also said that US Central Command General Michael Kurilla arrived in Israel today and "held a strategic assessment of the security challenges in the region" with Israel's chief of staff.

Despite the new threats, Israel's Home Front Command has not ordered any changes in the public's routine.

US President Joe Biden has emphasised his country's "ironclad" support for Israel after Iran's threat of retaliation.

Israel has been widely blamed for the strike on Iran's embassy in Damascus, but it has not commented on the attack. 

The UK's foreign secretary has said he is "deeply concerned" about a potential "miscalculation" by Iran. 

David Cameron said he had "made clear" to the country's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian that Iran "must not draw the Middle East into a wider conflict".

"I am deeply concerned about the potential for miscalculation leading to further violence," he wrote on X. 

"Iran should instead work to de-escalate and prevent further attacks." 

Tehran has vowed to retaliate after two of its top generals were killed in an airstrike on its consulate in Syria earlier this month that the US military believes was carried out by Israel.

Although Israel has not commented on the attack, Iran's leader the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the country "must be punished". 

Earlier today, the UK's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the Iranian threats were "unacceptable". 

The world would be in "uncharted territory" if Iran follows through on threats to attack Israel, a former head of the Middle East department at the Foreign Office has told Sky's Politics Hub. 

Iran has vowed retaliation for a deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria earlier this month, which killed two of its top generals.

Israel has not commented on the attack, but Tehran's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the country "must be punished, and it shall be".

"If Iran was to miscalculate and attack Israel directly, then I think … Israel would respond in kind, and we could find ourselves in uncharted territory," Sir William Patey said. 

He added that by publicly vowing retaliation, it will be hard for the Ayatollah to back down, although they will be facing a "dilemma" on potential targets.

"The Ayatollah Khamenei has said twice now that they're going to attack, so he's very publicly out there saying that there will be reprisals - quite hard for him to back down," he said. 

"It is possible that they might use proxies, which is their standard methodology. But they have said they feel the need to attack Israel directly." 

He added, they may not attack directly in Israel, but they are limited when it comes to other targets.

The contents of 600 aid trucks are stuck at the Kerem Shalom crossing, an Israeli authority has said. 

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories called out the United Nations for the backlog. 

It said the supplies were "waiting to be collected" by the United Nations on the Gaza side of the crossing. 

"We extended crossing hours and scaled up our capacities. UN do your job," it added. 

"The bottlenecks are not on the Israeli side." 

Israel has been facing mounting international pressure to boost aid deliveries to the besieged region. 

Earlier today, the Israeli military said it was constructing a new northern crossing for aid to reach Gaza. 

Aid trucks currently come from Egypt to the Gaza border and are inspected by Egyptian and Israeli authorities before being able to proceed. 

Once checked, they are allowed to enter the region and the Palestinian Red Crescent or the UNRWA deliver the goods to civilians. 

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antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

IMAGES

  1. Passengers on Viking Polaris cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' in

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

  2. What is a rogue wave? 1 killed and 4 injured after Antarctic cruise

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

  3. A Rogue Wave Smashed Into A Viking Cruise Ship & Killed A Tourist On An

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

  4. Antarctic cruise ship tossed by massive waves

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

  5. Cruise ship slammed by enormous Antarctic waves

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

  6. Viking cruise ship struck by wave, 1 person killed

    antarctica cruise ship hit by wave

COMMENTS

  1. Passengers on Antarctic cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak

    The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship last week. Tom and Pam Trusdale were enjoying a bucket list trip to Antarctica, until their trip of a lifetime turned into a deadly ...

  2. Viking Polaris passengers speak out after 'rogue wave' strikes

    Large waves hit glass of Antarctica cruise ship as it navigates the Drake Passage. One American woman was killed and four others injured after a rogue wave hit the cruise ship. (Credit: Ann Clark Mah)

  3. 'Rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship, leaves 1 dead and 4 injured

    Courtesy Beverly Spiker. An American passenger on an Antarctic cruise died and four other guests were injured after their Viking ship was struck by a "rogue wave," officials said. The incident ...

  4. 'Rogue wave' kills American woman on Antarctic cruise

    The storm caused a giant wave that broke several panes of glass on the cruise ship and these fell onto and killed an American woman. Viking Cruises confirmed in a statement issued Saturday that ...

  5. "Rogue wave" kills American woman, injures four others on Antarctic

    American killed after "rogue wave" hits Antarctic cruise ship 00:21. A U.S. woman died and four other passengers were injured when a massive wave smashed into an Antarctic cruise ship during a ...

  6. Rogue Wave Strikes Cruise Ship, Killing One and Injuring 4 Others

    Dec. 3, 2022. A passenger died and four others were injured after a large, unexpected wave hit a cruise ship traveling toward a popular launching point for expeditions to Antarctica, Viking ...

  7. Giant 'rogue wave' hits Antarctica-bound cruise ship, leaving one dead

    0:00. 0:50. One person died and four others were injured after a giant "rogue wave" hit an Antarctica-bound cruise ship, travel company Viking said. The "rogue wave incident" occurred during a ...

  8. 'Rogue wave' kills US passenger on Antarctic cruise ship, injures four

    The two men, aged 76 and 80, had left the World Explorer ship for an excursion on an inflatable zodiac boat that overturned near the shore. AFP/AP. Posted 3 Dec 2022. One person has died and four ...

  9. US passenger killed after huge 'rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship

    Sat 3 Dec 2022 15.08 EST. A US woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in ...

  10. Passenger killed after large 'rogue' wave hits Antarctic cruise ship

    Getty Images. A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern ...

  11. US Citizen Killed When 'Rogue' Wave Hit Viking Cruise Ship in Antarctic

    The Norwegian-flagged cruise ship Viking Polaris is seen anchored in waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Ushuaia, southern Argentina, on December 1, 2022. One person was killed, and four other ...

  12. They were rocked by blast and rogue wave during Antarctic cruise. They

    The cruise ship was bound for Ushuaia Tuesday when it was struck during a storm by a giant "rogue wave," which killed one person and injured four, USA TODAY reported. "The rogue wave hit the side ...

  13. Deadly 'rogue wave' smashes into cruise ship near Antarctica

    On the night of Nov. 29, an unusually massive wave hit the cruise ship Viking Polaris as it was sailing through the Drake Passage in Antarctica's Southern Ocean toward Ushuaia, a port in Argentina ...

  14. 'Rogue wave' hits Viking Polaris cruise ship in Antarctica, killing 1

    1 dead, 4 injured after 'rogue wave' strikes Antarctic cruise ship The Viking Polaris ship was sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, at the time. By Meredith Deliso and Peter Charalambous

  15. Passengers on Viking Polaris cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' in

    Passengers on Antarctic cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak out. The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, last week.

  16. One dead after Antarctic cruise ship hit by 'rogue wave'

    The Norwegian cruise company Viking said the ship was battered by a "rogue wave" that smashed several panes of glass in the cabins. "We wondered if we hit an iceberg. And there are no icebergs ...

  17. Cruise ship passengers hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak

    Passengers on the Antarctica cruise ship are speaking out after the ship was hit by a "rogue wave" last week, killing an American passenger, Sheri Zhu, and i...

  18. Cruise passenger dies when 'rogue wave' hits Viking ship by Antarctica

    Cruise passenger dies in 'rogue wave incident' on Antarctica trip. The large wave hit a Viking cruise ship on its way back to southern Argentina. By Hannah Sampson. December 2, 2022 at 12:57 p ...

  19. US passenger killed when big wave hits Antarctic cruise ship

    A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said. The ship suffered limited damage and arrived in Ushuaia, 1,926 miles (3100 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires, the next day.

  20. Passengers on Antarctic cruise ship hit by deadly 'rogue wave' speak

    The Trusdales were passengers on the Viking Polaris cruise ship sailing toward Ushuaia, Argentina, when it was hit by a "rogue wave" last week, killing an American passenger, Sheri Zhu, and injuring four others. The Viking Polaris cruise ship is seen anchored in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 1, 2022, in Ushuaia, Argentina.

  21. Rogue Wave Kills Passenger, Injures 4 on Antarctic Cruise Ship

    One person is dead and four others were injured after a rogue wave crashed into a Antarctic cruise ship on Tuesday. The incident happened on the Viking Polaris as it was sailing toward Ushuaia ...

  22. Rogue Wave Hits Antarctic Cruise Ship, Killing 1 and Injuring 4

    Viking, a Swiss-based cruise line, has announced that one person died and four people were injured after a massive rogue wave struck one of the company's ships in the Antarctic. AFP News reports ...

  23. American killed after "rogue wave" hits Antarctic cruise ship

    Watch CBS News. American killed after "rogue wave" hits Antarctic cruise ship. A U.S. citizen was killed when a monster wave hit a cruise ship off the coast of Argentina, the State Department ...

  24. 'Simply mind-boggling': world record temperature jump in Antarctic

    Antarctica's ice sheet covers 14m square kilometres (about 5.4m square miles), roughly the area of the United States and Mexico combined, and contains about 30m cubic kilometres (7.2m cubic ...

  25. It's not for everyone: 3 things to know about Antarctica expedition cruises

    Expedition ships tend to be small, but larger cruise ships visit Antarctica as well and guests may feel the impact of the waves less thanks to their size. However, travelers should note that ships ...

  26. Cruise Ship Crashed When It Suddenly Lost Power to Maneuver, 17 Injured

    Danube river cruise ship crashed after it was 'suddenly no longer able to maneuver,' 17 passengers injured. Cameron Manley. Mar 31, 2024, 5:53 AM PDT. The ship crashed into a concrete wall on ...

  27. Antarctica's sea ice hit another low this year—understanding how ocean

    At the end of the southern summer, Antarctica's sea ice hit its annual minimum. By at least one measure, which tracks the area of ocean that contains at least 15% of sea ice, it was a little above ...

  28. 7.4 magnitude quake hits Taiwan, strongest in 25 years

    The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that killed at least nine people and injured hundreds Wednesday, is the strongest to hit Taiwan in 25 years . Over the last 50 years, the island has experienced a ...

  29. Antarctica's sea ice hit another low this year

    At the end of the southern summer, Antarctica's sea ice hit its annual minimum. By at least one measure, which tracks the area of ocean that contains at least 15% of sea ice, it was a little ...

  30. Middle East latest: Israel says it will open crossing for aid trucks to

    The Israeli military has claimed it has struck three military compounds used by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. In a post on Telegram, the Israel Defence Forces said it hit buildings in Meiss el ...