Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed that its Norwegian Escape cruise encountered a "sudden, extreme gust of wind" at 100 knots (or approximately 115 miles per hour) and began to tilt toward its port side.
Tony Ciaramello, from New Jersey, was on the cruise ship during the gust and told Eyewitness News he thought he was going to die.
ROCKED: Video shot inside the Norwegian Escape shows the frightening moment a “sudden, extreme” gust of wind estimated at 100 knots caused the cruise ship to list, injuring several people; first responders are awaiting the ship’s arrival in Port Canaveral. https://t.co/L2IrjhioJm pic.twitter.com/SsillNjM28— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) March 5, 2019
"People flying all over the place. All dishes and bottles smashing all over the place in the bars. Signs falling, chairs flying across the main room. I went flying as it tilted and landed on my stomach and slid like 20 feet and smashed into a guard rail in the middle of the floor," Ciaramello said via text message.
The cruise line confirmed that "several" people were injured and treated by the ship's medical staff. It did not confirm the number or extent of those injuries.
The ship was beginning a seven-night cruise out of New York City and was heading toward its first stop, Port Canaveral, Florida, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Norwegian said the ship arrived in Florida Tuesday, and passengers who needed medical attention were transported to local hospitals.
"Since learning of this incident on the Norwegian Escape, we deployed additional staff at our hospitals to care for passengers possibly in need of medical care. As of now, about 8 passengers have been transported from the cruise terminal," a representitve from Cape Canaveral Hospital and Holmes Regional Medical Center told ABC News.
All passengers who were hospitalized from the cruise ship incident have now been released.
The cruise line said the ship was not damaged, and it will continue on its scheduled itinerary.
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