Friday, 16 May 1997 witnessed the second serious sea-borne incident in as many months. Just seven weeks after the container ship MV Cita ran aground on St Mary’s, a cruise ship carrying over 800 people was holed as she left St Mary’s Roads. There were 500 passengers and 300 crew aboard the 25,000 tonne cruise ship the Albatros when she was holed on Bartholomew’s Ledge, as she was guided out between St Agnes and St Mary’s by a local pilot. The Albatros hit Bartholomew’s Ledge whilst heading south out of St Mary’s Sound, she then turned around in clear water and limped back into St Mary’s roads under escort from the Pilot boat and the Lifeboat. The vessel appeared to have a list to her port side. It has not become clear why a local pilot was not actually on board the boat as is normal practice.


The 504 German passengers on board were in “No immediate danger” said Steve Watt, and they remained on board for a further two days, despite the list, until they were taken to Penzance by a special trip from the Scillonian on the Sunday, from where they continued their journey home by land.


Later it became apparent that the Albatros has sustained a 200-foot gash on her starboard side which was caused by Hitting Bartholomew’s Ledge at around 3:00pm whilst moving at about 6 knots.