Cruise passengers party on‚ crew tests lifeboats as Dineo approaches - Times LIVE
   
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Fri Mar 31 02:34:44 SAST 2017

Cruise passengers party on‚ crew tests lifeboats as Dineo approaches

Taschica Pillay | 2017-02-15 14:25:37.0

Crew aboard the MSC Sinfonia cruise liner have been testing their lifeboats and changed their itinerary as cyclone Dineo approaches the Mozambique and South African east coasts.

Despite this‚ passengers are partying up a storm. Michael Joubert‚ 31‚ who is currently on board the cruise ship with his wife‚ Christa‚ said on Wednesday that the sea "was still fair‚ bumpy‚ but not extreme".

But while they were meant to be anchored off Mozambique's Portuguese Island on Wednesday‚ the approaching storm meant they had to move.

This came as crew started testing life-saving equipment.

"I have never seen this before. The MSC crew started 'testing' all the life boats between Monday and Tuesday. I assume for extra precaution. They have closed off the deck areas to the lifeboats since its a bit windy now as well‚ but waters still fair‚" he said.

The Cape Town-based independent business consultant added‚ "We were supposed to be anchored at the island today as well‚ but since the captain decided it would be safer to leave the area‚ they did so".

"It's unbelievable how calm everyone is. We have not heard anyone complain so far‚ but the general attitude is that everyone has faith in MSC. People are still having a great time‚" said Joubert.

Tropical Storm Dineo is expected to escalate into an intense cyclone with thrashing winds before the weekend.

Joubert said they were able to get off the ship at Portuguese Island on Tuesday‚ where the island weather was very warm and the sea was flat.

"It was very nice. The captain and his staff have been very informative and have kept us up-to-date on a regular basis. On Tuesday night the captain announced his decision to leave the area where we were anchored.

"We are currently on the way back to Durban sailing at about five nautical miles from the coastline.The weather is still fine‚ very windy and waters a little rough‚ but all good‚" said Joubert.

He said after hitting bumpy waters on Wednesday morning‚ little blue sea sickness bags were placed around the ship. Other passengers on board the cruise liner have taken to social media to assure their families they are well.

- TMG Digital/The Times

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