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Passengers give account of ‘near-death experience’ as their cruise ship passed through storm

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CAPE LIBERTY, N.J. -- 4,600 cruise ship passengers endured a rough evening Sunday as their ship passed through a nor'easter.

Jacob Ibrag told PIX11 News it was a "near-death experience."

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas left Cape Liberty, New Jersey Saturday under sunny skies, but Sunday the cruise ship sailed through a powerful storm off the coast of the Carolinas.

"Looking out at the windows, it was quite intense," David Forrest described.

"Obviously you start thinking about your own mortality, anything can happen. You can die," Ibrag said.

Passengers described sailing through 30 foot waves. Ibrag told PIX11 the scariest part was, "going from 30 degree tilts from left to right left to right and not knowing if it was going to keel over and submerge completely."

Royal Caribbean confirmed to PIX11 that the Anthem of the Seas will return to New Jersey Wednesday morning.

In a statement the cruise company said:

"Safety is our highest priority and ships are designed to withstand even more extreme circumstances than Anthem of the Seas encountered. While the weather was unpleasant, the ship remained seaworthy at all times."