The duke and duchess of York narrowly escaped injury Wednesday when a steel cable snapped above their heads as they waved goodbye to each other at Fremantle Harbor.

Britain's Prince Andrew, who was preparing to set sail from Australia with his crewmates on the HMS Edinburgh following a bicentennial visit, was standing on the destroyer's lower deck and his wife, the former Sarah Ferguson, was standing on wharf across from him when the mishap occurred.A steel mooring cable suddenly snapped with a loud crack "like a gunshot" and lashed whip-like above the duchess' head, then struck the side of the destroyer a few feet from where the prince was standing.