Three holidaymakers who were on a ferry as it smashed into a harbour wall say some passengers thought a bomb had exploded – with many fearing the boat would sink.
Pals Charlie Hodgson, 20, Sam Mellor, 21, and Craig Alwright, 29, boarded the ferry in Dover on Sunday as part of a trip to see the World War One graves in Belgium for the centenary.
But within minutes of departure, disaster struck when the vessel smashed into the harbour wall.
Charlie explained: “We were walking down a corridor at the time and there was a massive bang. It was so loud and the force sent us all flying.
“We were worried that the boat would go down to begin with. Another couple who we saw thought a bomb had gone off. It was very frightening.”
Charlie explained that the impact of the crash “wrecked” the inside of the ship.
“The contents of the shops were all over the floor and people’s breakfasts ended up all over them,” said Charlie.
“There were even people walking around without their shirts on, after meals and hot drinks landed on them.”
However, it wasn’t just a few bumps and scrapes the boys picked up in the crash.
“Most of the cars got damaged too,” said Charlie.
“A car went straight into the back of mine, but it’s getting sorted, so it’s alright.”
Despite the incident the boys say they will not be put off travelling by ferry again.
Charlie said: “It was a scary experience but it won’t stop us travelling by boat again.”
Charlie said that the ferry provider was quick to get them onto another boat and they made it to Belgium successfully – despite “choppy conditions” on the way.
A spokesman for DFDS Seaways, who operate the service, said: “Following the incident on November 9, involving the Dover Seaways as she was leaving the port of Dover on the 8am sailing to Dunkirk, we have now been able to conduct a preliminary inspection and the ship
“We would like to apologise to all passengers and freight customers for any inconvenience caused during this time and underline that the safety of all passengers and crew is of paramount importance to us.”