The hulk of the French cruise liner "Antilles" still smouldered off the West Indian island of Mustique on Sunday (10 Jan) as an official inquiry into her loss opened in nearby Martinique.
AV Islands PAN TO ship on fire
AV PAN from stern of liner to bow
AV (LONG) Liner
LV ZOOM IN TO GV Ship
SV QE2 launch at quayside
SCU Survivors leaving launch
Initials JMR/PN/SGM/0153 JMR/PN/SGM/0200
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Background: The hulk of the French cruise liner "Antilles" still smouldered off the West Indian island of Mustique on Sunday (10 Jan) as an official inquiry into her loss opened in nearby Martinique. All the 650 passengers and crew were rescued and most of them have now left for Martinique or Paris.
The 20,000-ton ship, on a Caribbean cruise, hit an underwater reef and caught fire. The reef tore a huge hole in he side and she burst into flames. Launches from the British liner "Queen Elizabeth II" picked up most of those on board and took them to Bridgetown, barbados.
The French owners of the "Antilles" say she is a total loss. Islanders on Mustique said they tried to warn the "Antilles" to keep away from the reef but the crew thought they were just waving and waved back.
In the past two days most of the survivors have left Bridgetown. The majority had few if any possessions and money. For some their most prized souvenir was their life jacket, autographed by fellow passengers.
The British co-owner of Mustique said yesterday that the "Antilles" was still on the reef. "If they don't blow her up she'll probably be sitting there in the same position for the next 30 years," he commented.