17 Aug, 2019 @ 17:20
1 min read

EXCLUSIVE: Passenger tells of ‘massive jolt’ as Balearia ferry hits rock at Denia port with panicked Brit holidaymakers asked to leave ‘dogs, suitcases and cars behind’

SHIPWRECK: The Pinar del Rio stuck at the mouth of Denia port

A PASSENGER on the Balearia ferry that ran aground in Denia has told the Olive Press of the ‘massive jolt’ that rocked the ship at 11.20pm last night.

David Luis, who lives in Ibiza, said passengers became ‘nervous’ as the noise of ‘scraping over rocks’ echoed throughout the Pinar del Rio ship.

“A few minutes passed as the crew had no idea how to act,” Luis said.

“The captain later told us there had been a collision.

“He said the authorities were on their way there would be an evacuation.

“That was all we knew.”

RESCUED: 393 passengers were taken to shore after the Pinar del Rio ran aground
STAY CALM: Guardia Civil participated in the relief effort off the coast of Denia
WHAT’S GOING ON? British holidaymakers were ‘desperate’ as the orders came in Spanish

The next update asked passengers to leave suitcases and dogs on board.

“Everyone protested,” Luis said.

“The Brits were especially desperate as they didn’t understand the Spanish orders.”

Balearia eventually relented and allowed dogs to disembark.

But the owners of 70 cars are still stranded without their luggage.

One Spanish man, who had spent all night at the Balearia Port Denia, was in tears as his car would be ‘stuck onboard for three days’ and he ‘had to get to Madrid’.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he said.

STRANDED: Hundreds of passengers spent the night at Balearia Port Denia

A spokesman for Balearia told the Olive Press that when he arrived at 6am there were ‘hundreds of people’ sleeping on the floors.

He said passengers had now been put on buses to Valencia and Alicante ‘to make connecting flights’.

He added that others were sent by taxi to their homes.

For car owners, however, he said there was ‘no choice’ but to wait.

“A subaquatic services company is now evaluating the damage to the hull, in order to refloat it and bring it to port where cars can be disembarked,” Balearia said in a statement.

Were you on board? Contact the Olive Press at [email protected]

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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