CRUISE ship passengers needed resuscitating and suffered broken bones when 30ft waves smashed into their ship.
Around 100 of the 1,000 people on board Spirit of Discovery were injured when bad weather triggered the boat's safety system.
It saw the 58,250 tonne vessel veer and shudder to a halt – hurling passengers across their cabins.
Witnesses say holidaymakers were frantically messaging loved ones as they feared they wouldn't make it out alive.
Richard Reynolds, who spent £19,000 on the cruise for his family, told MailOnline: "People had broken hips, my mother had a fall and thankfully she was ok.
"She was kept in the medical bay where somebody had to be resuscitated in front of her."
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The Spirit of Discovery had been on a 14-night Canary Island Quintet cruise, which departed on 24 October.
But after ten days at sea the Saga crew decided to cancel its final call in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
The ship headed to La Coruna in northern Spain to get ahead of an approaching storm but were later told the port was closed, so they headed to the UK earlier than planned.
But while in the Bay of Biscay the cruise was caught in the death grip of a storm and the Master made the decision to wait it out.
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It plunged passengers into a hellish 18-hour ordeal as "54-foot waves" pummelled the ship.
Horrifying pictures show smashed balcony glass, cabins turned upside down and lounge areas filled with horrified-looking passengers.
Many "screamed for their lives" and others wore life-jackets for two days straight fearing they were going down with the ship amid the horror.
Passengers claimed one person was airlifted from the ship during the ordeal.
Peter Sawyer, 76, of Christchurch, Dorset, said: "We couldn't believe how high we were being thrown when the 54ft waves were hitting.
"People were being picked up off the floor."
And one 58-year-old female who was onboard with her husband and parents said people were on stretches as crew "frantically" tried to help.
When the cruise ship finally arrived back at Portsmouth on Saturday – two weeks earlier than planned – eight ambulances were waiting dockside.
Five people were reportedly treated at the ship's medical centre before being ferried to hospital in Portsmouth.
A Saga Cruises statement said: "Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK.
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"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 on their way home in calmer seas."
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