11 Apr 2012

Titanic memorial cruise ship turns back

10:07 am on 11 April 2012

A cruise ship retracing the Titanic's fateful voyage 100 years ago was forced to turn back towards Ireland on Tuesday after a passenger developed heart problems.

The Balmoral is carrying 1,309 passengers, about the same number as were on the Titanic.

Among them are relatives of those who lost their lives on the Titanic, relatives of survivors and historians.

The Balmoral left Ireland late on Sunday and was sailing through heavy weather when the captain announced that it would have to turn back, to within helicopter range of Ireland to allow the passenger to be evacuated.

The shipping company was unable to say whether the delay would affect the ship's ability to reach the location of the 1912 sinking on time.

More than 1500 passengers and crew died when Titanic hit an iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912 and sank several hours later.