A FREAK wave has left one passenger dead and others injured on the cruise ship MARCO POLO.
The vessel was on her back to her home port of Tilbury when the incident happened today in the English Channel.
Reports say that the water crashed through a window, killing an 85-year-old man. Another passenger was air-lifted from the ship.
Operator Cruise & Maritime Voyages said:
"CMV regrets to advise that earlier today their cruise ship MS Marco Polo, en-route to her home port of Tilbury from the Azores, was hit by a freak wave during adverse sea conditions in the south western approaches of the English Channel.
"One elderly passenger has died and a further passenger has been airlifted for further shore-side medical assistance.
"The vessel sailed from Tilbury on January 5 and is carrying 735 mainly British passengers and 349 crew.
"Our thoughts are very much with these passengers and their families during this difficult time."
Marco Polo was near the end of a 42-night cruise and is due to arrive back at Tilbury early on Sunday.