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Tuesday, August 24, 1999 Published at 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK


Terrified passengers feared second Titanic

Passengers were reassured by crew

A teenage passenger on board the luxury liner Norwegian Dream thought she was on "another Titanic" as it collided with a container ship in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The damaged cruiser is back in Dover after the collision which left cargo ship Ever Decent ablaze in the English Channel.

Norwegian Dream passengers talk of their terror
"We weren't sure if it was going to sink. When I heard the bang I really pictured another Titanic and started running to the deck," said Arielle Adelman, 16, from Brooklyn, New York, who was travelling with her brother Adam, 13, her father and grandfather.

Miss Adelman said: "It was really scary. There was a loud bang. I was walking down the hall and fell over. The ship started shaking and things started falling. No-one got seriously hurt."


As passengers disembarked in Dover, one man told the BBC: "One woman walked down the hallway and said we're all going to die. We didn't know if she knew what she was talking about - fortunately she didn't."

[ image: Passenger John Wark:
Passenger John Wark: "I said to my girlfriend, let's get out of here"
Other passengers explained how there was a big jolt and the ship rolled over on its side.

"Everyone was terrified, but there was no panic," said one woman. "It was the end of the vacation...we couldn't believe this was happening."

Passengers praised the well-organised crew, who put them into lifejackets and made them stand in formation while lifeboats were lowered and two headcounts were made.

They were on deck for just over an hour and could see the container ship burning.

Emergency sign

Bob Gedan, 62, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who was travelling with his wife Winnie, 61, said he heard two bangs very close together.

"Most people were asleep at the time. The TV fell off onto our bed and woke my wife up.

"We were very calm. There was a shaky voice over the tannoy that said 'Code Delta' which we presumed was the emergency sign. We weren't told that, but we got the message.

"They had us in the emergency stations with our life jackets on at one in the morning."

Mr Gedan added there was no panic whatsoever and the crew handled the situation "very, very well".

Ivan Goodman, 58, from east London, had been travelling with his wife Hilary and son, Philip, 15.

"When we got on the deck we were very worried. We thought that was it but because there was no fire we realised it was all right," he said.

Mrs Goodman described how the first bang woke her up and the second made her scream.


"The lights went off, we grabbed our clothes and we put on our lifejackets. I was in such a hurry to get my jacket on I forgot to put my skirt on."

John Chambers, from Carlisle, Cumbria, said he "thanked God" that the sea was calm and the weather was mild when the collision occurred.

"I was fast asleep. We just heard the loud bang and vibration and we got up, dressed and got our lifejackets on and went to the muster station.

"We were there for about an hour to see if we needed to abandon ship or not.

"We were a bit disturbed about being woken at 1am. It unnerved us. I just thank God that everything was fine.

"We didn't really know what was happening. It was very mild and calm so we thanked God for that. We could see in the distance one of the ships that was on fire and other ships were there that were coming to help."

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