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Passengers Escape From Damaged Ferry

Tue., April 18, 1995, midnight

Tourists on a crowded hydrofoil, trying to cap Easter weekend with a trip to Britain’s Channel Islands, had to jump into lifeboats to escape Monday after rocks apparently ripped a hole in the hull.

Many of the 300 tourists broke limbs as they made the 15-foot leap to the rafts as water poured into the damaged ferry St. Malo, but police said all had made it to shore by late Monday afternoon.

The captain of the French-owned hydrofoil ordered the passengers to evacuate about one mile offshore after the craft began to take on water.

A Royal Air Force Sea King helicopter plucked passengers from life rafts, and a flotilla of fishing vessels, ferries and other boats also responded to the distress call.

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