Tourists sue Surrey firm over cruise ship ice fall

Sixteen tourists are claiming damages against a Surrey-based tour operator after ice fell on their cruise ship.

Mr Justice Blair, at London's High Court, heard that the group had brought proceedings against Discover the World, in Banstead, which denies liability.

Nigel Cooper QC said a court case next year would focus on surge waves caused by falling ice, the ship's response and whether the accident was foreseeable.

Several passengers had minor injuries but one had a fractured skull in 2007.

'Ship too close'

The MV Alexy Maryshev was sailing around the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen in August that year when the Hornbreen glacier "calved" an iceberg, the court heard.

The liner was carrying 48 passengers and had stopped near the glacier for passengers to take photographs.

Some were standing on the foredeck when the ice fell and the waves struck.

Mr Cooper said several passengers had photos to back up their claim that the ship was too close to the glacier.

The passenger who suffered a fractured skull is making a substantial claim for loss of earnings.

The court case is expected to begin in March 2011.

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