154 passengers and crew in lifeboats

Passengers and crew members are being rescued from a sinking cruise liner, the MV Explorer 600 miles south of the Falkland Islands. The ship which is listing at a 25 degree angle is holed and taking in water and is expected to sink soon. It is believed the ship hit a growler – a low floating ice-berg.

100 passengers and 54 crew members have abandoned ship and taken to the lifeboats. Two cruise ships Endeavour, and Nord Norge are to take aboard the passengers and a third, Antarctic Dream is standing by.

The ship came across ‘more ice than expected’ for the time of year in the area of the accident.

British coastguards at Falmouth are helping to co-ordinate the rescue operation. A spokesman at Falmouth said because the area is so remote cruise ships tend to go in convoy in case of just such a disaster.