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Hundreds of passengers have to fly home early after cruise liner collision

Hundreds of passengers are to leave a P&O cruise ship early after it collided with another boat during severe weather in Palma de Mallorca.

MV Britannia reportedly came free from its mooring during the storm and was involved in a bump with another vessel on Sunday.

A small number of people sustained minor injuries and were cared for by the onboard medical centre, a P&O Cruises spokesperson said.

Inspections revealed that one of the lifeboats sustained structural issues and cannot be repaired onboard, the spokesperson added.

This means the ship has to return to Southampton with a reduced number of passengers.

It is understood 321 people will be flying home early.

A P&O Cruises spokesman said: “On Sunday August 27, P&O Cruises Britannia was impacted by severe weather when alongside in Palma de Mallorca.

“Following inspections, our third-party surveyor has confirmed that one of Britannia’s lifeboats has sustained structural issues and cannot be repaired onboard.

“We are so sorry but these extraordinary circumstances mean that the ship is required, by maritime regulation, to return to Southampton with a reduced number of people on board.

“A limited number of guests and crew on board have been advised that they will be leaving the ship and will be returned to Southampton (or their starting point) by flight and transfer.

“The guests remaining on board will be able to enjoy the entertainment and activities scheduled for the remainder of their trip.”

Britannia departed from Palma de Mallorca on Monday and is expected to reach Southampton on Friday, the spokesman added.