Rogue wave hits cruise ship sailing to Argentina, killing one passenger

A rogue wave hit a cruise ship while it was traveling toward Argentina, killing one passenger and injuring four others, Viking Cruises said on Thursday.

The company said in a statement that the wave hit its Viking Polaris ship around 10:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday as it sailed to the city of Ushuaia, which is located on the southern tip of Argentina.

“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,” the company said.

Viking Cruises said the ship sustained limited damage from the wave and arrived in port in Ushuaia without further incident on Wednesday afternoon. Four passengers received non-life-threatening injuries, and the ship’s doctor and medical staff treated them.

“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 company said.

Viking Cruises decided to cancel its next trip, scheduled for Dec. 5 to Dec. 17, after “careful consideration.”

A rogue wave is a large, unexpected and dangerous wave that is greater than twice the size of surrounding waves, according to the National Ocean Service. Rogue waves are considered unpredictable and come from directions other than prevailing winds and waves.

Reports of rogue waves, which are considered rare, have described them as “walls of water.”

One person aboard the Viking cruise told Raleigh, N.C., NBC affiliate WRAL that passengers wondered if they hit an iceberg when the wave hit.

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