Cruise Ship

Ovation Of The Seas

Incident Type

Coast Guard Medevacs and Itinerary Changes

Date of Accident

November 25, 2023

Location of Accident

Departing from Sydney, NSW, Australia

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On November 25, 2023, Ovation Of The Seas faced an urgent medical situation shortly after departing from Sydney, NSW, Australia. The cruise ship had to return to its homeport for the emergency medical evacuation (medevac) of a male passenger. This incident, coupled with adverse weather conditions at a later port, led to significant alterations in the ship’s itinerary, impacting the overall cruise experience for passengers.

Details of the Incident

The medical emergency involved a male passenger requiring urgent medical attention. Promptly responding to the situation, the ship returned to Sydney for the passenger’s disembarkation and subsequent medical care. However, the situation led to a deviation from the scheduled itinerary, with the ship skipping its planned stop at Port Chalmers/Dunedin and heading directly to Wellington.

Upon reaching Wellington, the Ovation Of The Seas faced another challenge – adverse weather conditions with strong winds between 40-50 knots (21-26 m/s), making docking at the harbor difficult. The ship had to cancel its Wellington call and reroute through Cook Strait towards Napier, leading to further changes in the planned stops.

Operational Context

This series of events occurred during the Ovation Of The Seas’ 10-day “New Zealand Cruise,” originally set to visit various NZ ports, including Fiordland National Park, Port Chalmers/Dunedin, Wellington, Napier, and Picton. The itinerary changes, necessitated by the medical emergency and subsequent weather challenges, resulted in the cancellation of several port calls, altering the cruise experience for passengers.

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