A cruise vessel with 1.612 passengers, mostly from Brazil, finally managed Thursday early afternoon to pull off from a River Plate sand bank where she was grounded for over twenty hours.
Pullmantur Cruises' Sky Wonder got stuck several miles from the port of Buenos Aires while heading for Punta del Este, in neighboring Uruguay. Apparently strong maritime winds caused problems for the luxury liner after it set sail late Wednesday.
However according to the Argentine Coast Guard travellers would have to suffer another four hours delay while the Sky Wonder undergoes a full technical check of the hull in La Plata, where there are facilities and sufficient depth for such an inspection.
Sky Wonder was able to pull out with the help of three tugs, two Coast Guard vessels and a helicopter which coordinated the whole operation to free the cruise ship.
The Argentine Coast Guard reported that the whole operation went on quite smoothly with no major setbacks with the exception of a traveller who had to be air evacuated when he began complaining of arrhythmia.
Pullmantur Cruises, Spain's biggest cruise and tour operator, is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the world's No. 2 cruise group.
Sky Wonder, formerly known as Pacific Sky and Sky Princess, was launched in 1984 and began sailing for Pullmantur in May 2006. She has a gross tonnage of 46.000, 240 meters length, 27.8 beam, 8 meters depth and 11 decks.