Passengers aboard the Viking Polaris cruise ship, which was struck by a “rogue wave” during a voyage to Antarctica, killing an American woman, now say a “wall of seawater” came on the ship.
Sheri Zhu, 62, has been identified by ABC News as the person who died in last Tuesday’s incident, citing Ushuaia Federal Court Clerk Melina Rodriguez. The ship was en route to Ushuaia, Argentina, when it was hit, and Fox News Digital has reached out to the government there for further comment.
“If someone had told me we hit an iceberg, I would have believed them,” Tamarah Castaneda, a passenger on the Polaris from San Diego, told ABC’s Good Morning America.
“The windows fell in, that’s when this wall of seawater came in,” she added. “Beds were pushed against the doors so they couldn’t leave their rooms.”
US WOMAN KILLED WHEN ‘ROGUE WAVE’ DRUNK A CRUISE SHIP TO ANTARCTICA
California’s Beverly Spiker also told ABC News that a “huge hit” to the window of the cabin where she and her husband were staying shattered the frame, adding, “A lot of water shot in.”
The incident reportedly happened around 10:40 p.m. local time as the ship was sailing through the Drake Passage – a crossing between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica, known for its rough waters.
Argentinian authorities said the woman who died was hit by broken glass as the wave shattered the cabin windows. The ship suffered only limited damage and reached Ushuaia, 1,926 miles south of Buenos Aires, the next day.
“It is with great sadness that we have confirmed that a guest has passed away following the incident,” Viking Cruises said in a statement. “We have notified the guest’s family and share our deepest sympathy.”
Four injured passengers were treated on board the ship by a doctor and medical staff for non-life-threatening injuries, the company said.
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Rogue waves, also known as “extreme storm waves” by scientists, are more than twice the size of the surrounding waves, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and often come unexpectedly from directions other than the prevailing wind and waves.
Fox News and Associated Press’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.