Ship on which man was killed 'had undergone recent survey'

The cruise operator has insisted that the Marco Polo ship - on which a man was killed on Friday - had undergone "stringent and rigorous surveys". His widow has blamed the "badly maintained" vessel for his death.

Cruise ship passed fit to sail after passenger's death

The cruise ship on which an elderly passenger died when it was hit by a freak wave has been passed fit to sail.

James Swinstead was killed and several other people were injured when water crashed through the windows on the British ship Marco Polo on Friday night.

James Swinstead was killed when a wave crashed through the windows on the British ship Marco Polo on Friday night. Credit: PA Wire

After disembarking from the ship at Tilbury in Essex yesterday, the 85-year-old's widow, Helen, claimed the ship was "badly maintained".

However, the 49-year-old vessel has been given the clearance to continue after police and port inspections.

A spokesman for the ship's operator, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, said the damage had been limited to four smashed windows and carpet damage, and that the next cruise was underway.

Watch: Widow tells of 'dreadful' moment husband was killed

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Dramatic photos show huge waves on deadly trip

Nektarios Rigas, who posted this photo on Facebook, compared the waves to mountains. Credit: Facebook / Nektarios Rigas

New pictures taken on board the Marco Polo ship - on which a man was killed on Friday - show how bad conditions were on board, with the boat being battered by huge waves.

Many passengers were injured in the rough waters. Credit: Facebook / Nektarios Rigas

The widow of the 85-year-old pensioner killed when a freak wave hit the cruise liner said the ship was "improperly maintained".

The ship was hit by waves while sailing in the English Channel Credit: Facebook / Nektarios Rigas

The cruise operator insists the Marco Polo had undergone "stringent and rigorous surveys".

Marco Polo cruise ship 'improperly maintained': widow

The widow of a pensioner killed when a freak wave hit a cruise liner said today the ship was "improperly maintained".

Helen Swinstead was one of several hundred passengers caught in a gale-force storm in the English Channel on Friday. Her 85-year-old husband, James, died when a wave crashed through a window of the liner, the Marco Polo.

ITV News' Charlotte Grant reports:

Cruise ship had undergone 'stringent surveys'

The cruise ship on which a man was killed on Friday had undergone "stringent and rigorous surveys", according to the cruise operator.

The widow of James Swinstead, who died when the boat was hit by a wave in the channel, claimed the death was due to the ship being badly maintained.

But Christian Verhounig, chief executive of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, said: "Marco Polo undergoes stringent and rigorous surveys and is inspected regularly including a recent annual dry docking survey and certification."

"Marco Polo is... serviced in full compliance of strict British and International maritime regulations and is efficiently manned by a professional and dedicated crew."

Widow tells of 'dreadful' moment husband was killed

The wife of a man killed after a freak wave hit a cruise ship in the English Channel has described the moment the waves crashed through the windows.

Helen Swinstead said:

"It was quite dreadful, I was sitting next to him and this window just came in and the sea with it. We were all very very wet I think a woman was taken to hospital and my husband was going to go on the helicopter but he died before they could get him on it.

"He's never made headline news, he'll be sitting on his cloud chortling."

James Swinstead, 85, died "almost instantly" after water rushed on board the British cruise ship Marco Polo as it was battered by waves during severe storms.

Read more: Cruise ship passenger dies after freak wave

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Passenger: 'I was sitting, next minute I was under water'

Heather Gratland, from Worcestershire, was in the 6th floor restaurant when the water entered the ship.

She said:

All I remember was one minute I was sitting there and the next my head was under water.

The lights went out momentarily. Immediately they were ushering us out.

I was trying to find my shoes and my husband lost his glasses.

We were very lucky, the ones sitting low, because we were less injured than the people higher up.

Other passengers said:

We came through the Channel in the most horrendous gales anyone has ever experienced.

We rode the storm like a bucking bronco.

I'm just surprised more people were not injured.

– Jerry Bart

It was frightening. Things were rushing off shelves in the cabin.

People were really hurt. A man died. It's a shame.

The sea was just amazing to watch. It was white all over. It was pretty terrifying."

– Anna Matheson

Wife's tribute to 'lovely husband' killed on cruise ship

The wife of a man killed after a freak wave hit a cruise ship in the English Channel has paid tribute to her "lovely husband".

James Swinstead, 85, died "almost instantly" after water rushed on board the British cruise ship Marco Polo as it was battered by waves during severe storms.

Helen Swinstead speaking after disembarking from the ship.
Helen Swinstead speaking after disembarking from the ship. Credit: ITV News/ Charlotte Grant

Mr Swinstead, a father-of-two from Colchester, Essex, was on the cruise with his wife Helen.

Speaking in Tilbury after the ship docked, she said: "I think it killed him almost instantly. He was a lovely husband.

"It was quite dreadful. I was sitting next to him and this window came in and the sea with it.

"We were all very, very wet. I think a woman was taken to hospital and my husband was going to get on the helicopter but he died before they could get him on it.

"He's never made headline news. He'll be sitting on his cloud chortling."

Cruise passenger: 'Storms were horrendous'

Another passenger on the cruise said the storms were "horrendous".

Linda Kogan said:

It was horrendous, I've never been in storms like it. The waves were coming up almost over the ship.

The ship was at an angle. Some people reported the drawers were falling apart and the wardrobe doors falling off.

A lady was actually thrown out of bed with the force. We weren't in the restaurant when the windows broke but I think it was really scary.

One lady said it was just like the films with the foamy water and being swept across the restaurant.Some people were stunned but on the whole people were quite stoic. The crew were fantastic. Some of the crew were actually injured as well.

Widow blames 'badly maintained' ship for death

The wife of a man killed after a freak wave hit a cruise ship in the English Channel has criticised the "badly maintained" vessel.

Helen Swinstead speaking after the ship docked said: "I think it killed him almost instantly."With our insurance I think I'm entitled to £2,000, which won't even cover getting him home to Colchester.

"I think the shipping company should give some sort of compensation. The ship was badly maintained. Four windows blew.

"The crew have been fantastic. I think the ship is improperly maintained. It had come from Madeira before we got on it in January and they had bad storms then.

"There's so much paint on the outside you can't see the rust, they just slop some more on when they get to port."

Read more: Cruise ship passenger died in 'adverse sea conditions'

A spokesman for the ship's operator said it would not comment on Mrs Swinstead's remarks.

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