A famous Newtown businessman has been caught up in a terrifying Saga cruise facing over 50 feet high waves.

Peter Webber is the founder of the successful cytology and histology firm Cellpath in Newtown back in 1972, before retiring last year.

He decided to go on a relaxing 14-day cruise which was supposed to sail around the Bay of Biscay and the Canary Islands with saga cruises – however things soon went disastrously wrong.

County Times:

“We got back last night from the saga cruise 'saga'," said Mr Webber. “We were there, my wife and I and two friends from Llanerfyl.”

Peter was on the Saga Cruises ship, Spirit of Discovery, on a 14-night cruise to the Canary Islands when it was hit by severe weather conditions last weekend.


It is thought the ship had to cancel a visit to Las Palmas as the weather deteriorated and was instead heading towards La Corona when that port was closed because of the conditions.

The ship’s crew decided to return to the UK when the propulsion safety system was activated in the stormy weather – causing it to veer suddenly to the left, bringing the vessel to a sudden halt.

“They couldn’t help the weather the boat is only two years old,” said Peter.

“The emergency system kicked in and stopped the engines. We were stationary for nearly 24 hours spinning round in a tail."

County Times: Some of the chaos in Peter's room during the storm.Some of the chaos in Peter's room during the storm. (Image: Peter Webber)

This led to 100 of the nearly 1,000 guests on board being hurt. The vast majority suffered minor injuries, although five needed treatment for more serious injuries in the ship’s medical facilities.

Other passengers have said the waves were as high as 54 feet – taller than three double-decker buses.

“I got my leg knocked out. People were getting thrown about, we had a horrendous time,” said Peter.

“Severe is not the word to describe the storm.

“Saga are coming under a bit of fire. They are trying to get a group together to start a bit of a conversation, but I think they did well, I got a letter from the CEO.”

County Times: Saga Cruises's Spirit of Discovery in port at Portsmouth International Port.Saga Cruises's Spirit of Discovery in port at Portsmouth International Port. (Image: Ben Micthell/PA Wire)

A spokeswoman for Saga Cruises said: “Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK.

“The ship remained safe at all times, but due to the impact of the storm some guests sustained injuries.

“All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff.

“While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely back, having sailed home in calmer seas.”