Sudden end of a pleasure trip: A cruise ship with 148 people on board leaked on the Main on Sunday night and was evacuated. Passengers and crew had to spend the night in a gym in Karlstadt, 30 kilometers west of Würzburg, the police said. A large contingent of fire brigades and technical relief organizations prevented the ship from sinking.
The “Amadeus Elegant” was en route from Budapest to Düsseldorf with 126 elderly passengers from Great Britain, a police spokesman said. When exiting the Himmelstadt lock, the stern struck a rock near the shore. Shortly after 11 p.m., the police were alerted that the crew was struggling with significant water ingress. The skipper probably made a driving mistake, said the police headquarters in Lower Franconia. The water police are investigating.
The cruise ship still managed to drive the short distance to Karlstadt and moor there, district fire chief Benedict Rottmann said. Around 3 a.m., all passengers and crew members were taken off board and taken to a nearby gym, where 60 helpers from the Bavarian Red Cross had meanwhile set up beds and prepared drinks. Around 160 emergency services from the fire brigade and THW pumped water out of the ship until the morning hours. Nobody was injured in the accident.
The passengers should be taken to a hotel in Würzburg by bus on Sunday, said police chief Christoph Reinhart. Most would then fly back to the UK. A further journey of the ship is only possible after a repair by a special company. The amount of the damage cannot yet be quantified. No oil or diesel escaped in the accident.