‘Love Boat’s’ last voyage ends in tragedy

Posted at 10:31 PM, Aug 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-12 22:31:05-04

(CNN) — Two people were killed over the weekend when they were exposed to toxic gases on the ship once used for the ABC television series “The Love Boat,” according to the company that recently bought the vessel.

The ship, which had just completed its final voyage and was scheduled to be dismantled, was damaged while entering the port of Aliaga in Turkey’s Izmir province and began taking on water in a storage area under the main engine.

Crews on Saturday began work to drain the water, deploying electrical pumps. Engine-exhaust buildup led to the toxic exposure, according to Izmir Ship Recycling Co., the firm that recently purchased the ship for 2.5 million euros (about $3.33 million).

Six other people were injured and were released from the hospital after receiving treatment, according to Izmir Ship Recycling.

The Aliaga attorney general’s office has launched an investigation, but investigators haven’t been unable to reach the accident site. Izmir Ship Recycling has to finish removing water and turn the ship off its side so authorities can continue the probe.

The boat’s original name was Pacific Princess. It is 171 meters (about 560 feet) long and 24 meters (about 78 feet) wide.

The ship was used in the ABC series between 1977 and 1987. Once retired from the series, the vessel was renamed Quail Cruises and was used for Mediterranean Sea tours.

Dismantling of the ship is expected to take between seven and eight months.