Two passengers have died onboard a Mediterranean cruise ship after the vessel was hit by a massive wave measuring some eight metres in height.

The two men, one Italian and one German, died after abnormal waves struck the Louis Majesty, part of the Greek Louis Cruise Lines, on Wednesday. There were around 1,800 people on board at the time of the tragedy, including 1,350 passengers and an additional 580 crew. The deaths occurred as the freak waves crashed over the side of the ship, smashing a series of windows in the boat’s public area. Six others were injured in the same vicinity as the two men according to the Greek coast guard. The coast guard spokesperson also confirmed that the cause of the incident was a series of three waves that breached the boat.

The Louis Majesty is a Cypriot-owned vessel that was sporting a Maltese flag at the time of sailing, making its way from Spanish Barcelona towards Genoa in Italy. The exact location of the incident remains unknown. Spanish and French media have speculated that the accident took place around 130 kilometres of the Spanish coast near Capo de Begur. The vessel has decided not to dock in Barcelona after travelling from south-eastern Cartagena due to bad weather.

The French maritime authority reports that no distress signals were received from the Louis Majesty despite winds in the region south of France reaching 100 k/ph at the time of the disaster. The ship returned to Barcelona where it remains in the dock.