French cruise ship LE SOLEAL troubled in Patagonia, trip cancelled

Nov 15 Update: The ship didn’t call Natales prior to accident, according to itinerary she was to explore fjords. LE SOLEAL contacted bottom while passing Kirke Narrows on Nov 14, and damaged one of her propellers. In latest reports hull breach wasn’t mentioned, though in initial report it was said, that the hull was breached. The ship was brought to anchor for underwater survey. She was said to cancel her cruise and sail to Punta Arenas, where tourists will be disembarked, and ship will be taken to ship repair yard for repairs. As of 0000 UTC Nov 15, the ship was still at anchor. She’s to be either towed, or escorted by tugs, on her way to Punta Arenas.

Nov 14: Cruise ship LE SOLEAL contacted bottom or collided with rocks in Kirke Narrows, Chile, southern Patagonia, shortly after leaving Puerto Natales Port, on Nov 14. Reportedly, ship’s hull is breached, she was taken back and brought to anchor south of Natales. No other information available at the moment.
Cruise ship LE SOLEAL, IMO 9641675, GT 10992, built 2012, flag France, operator Compagnie du Ponant, capacity 264 passengers, crew 139.

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Erofey is a Merchant Marine Captain with more than 20 years experience in commanding oil tankers. He works as a Captain, being most of his time at sea. He contributes maritime news.