Aerial view of the Bahamas-registered liner Voyager after losing communications and power in a severe storm in the Mediterranean sea
Jean-Paul Pelissier  /  Reuters
The Bahamas-registered liner Voyager struggles in a rough sea early Monday after appealing for assistance. The crew later restarted one of the engines.
updated 2/14/2005 6:57:29 PM ET 2005-02-14T23:57:29

A fierce storm in the Mediterranean knocked out the engines of a Spanish cruise ship Monday, prompting Spanish and French authorities to launch a rescue operation that proved unnecessary when the crew got the vessel going again within hours.

The Voyager, with more than 700 people aboard, was battered by waves up to 26 feet and high winds for more than two hours as it sailed south of the island of Menorca, according to the French maritime prefect in Toulon, Adm. Jean-Marie Van Huffel.

Several people were slightly injured on the ship, including one who suffered a broken leg, he said.

Because the ship’s crew restarted one engine, however, it was not considered necessary to evacuate the passengers or crew.

The Voyager, moving under its own power, was diverted from its route — from Tunisia to Barcelona — toward the Italian island of Sardinia, the nearest acceptable port.

Two Spanish tugboats, French patrol craft and airplanes were dispatched to help the vessel while a rescue service helicopter was also sent to the area. A British vessel had been asked to help the cruise ship if possible.

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