Rugby couple rescued from cruise ship stuck in European floods

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A Rugby couple are glad to be back on dry land after being caught up in the worst floods Europe has seen for decades.

Tim and Sandie Seakins, of Pytchley Road, Rugby, flew to Vienna on May 31 for a week’s cruise on the River Danube on the Filia Rheni ll.

However the holiday quickly took a turn for the worse for the couple on board the ship, which didn’t even leave the port.

Mrs Seakins said: “The ship went nowhere as the flood waters rose so quickly it became too dangerous to manoeuvre in the fast-flowing current with debris rushing past including dead deer and whole trees.”

By the Monday morning the couple, along with 120 passengers, were trapped on board.

Mrs Seakins said: “We watched the end of the gangplank to the access road disappearing, then the bank, benches and road were covered by more than a metre of filthy, muddy water. Our first destination had been Passau, now suffering its worst floods since 1501.”

She continued: “The Dutch captain and his crew were wonderful, keeping us safe and wined, dined and entertained. But the passengers were mainly elderly and there were fears that medication may run out. Some people were bored, others anxious, but on the whole a ‘Dunkirk spirit’ prevailed.”

By the Thursday an evacuation plan was underway and in groups of ten they were rescued with the help of emergency services and a pontoon bridge made by firefighters.

Mrs Seakins said: “When everyone was safely on the coaches we had a four hour journey to Budapest for our flights home. We were reunited with our luggage at 1am. Tim and I got home at 8pm last night (June 7), grateful to everyone who had helped and aware that some people had lost their homes and livelihoods, even their lives, whilst we had only lost a holiday.”

Parts of central Europe remain on high alert as flood waters continue to rise.

At least 18 people have died and thousands have been evacuated.

Titan Travel has offered everyone a full refund.