How Do You Say Schettino in Korean? Captain of Sinking Ferry Among the First to Abandon Ship

The captain of the sunken ferry Korean ferry Sewol reportedly was one of the first to abandon ship and make it safely to shore.

Only one of the 47 lifeboats were deployed. The abandon ship order was not made until 30 minutes after the ferry began to sink.

There are around 275 people, mostly teenagers, missing at sea.

Does anyone know how to say Schettino in Korean?

Viking Line's M/S Amorella Strikes Rocks & Limps to Port

Bloomberg News reports that Viking Line's M/S Amorella passenger ferry lost power and ran aground in the Aaland archipelago southwest of Finland.

According to the ferry company's website, the ship carried 1,945 (with capacity of 2,400) but no one was injured and the passengers will remain on the vessel which will continue its voyage to Mariehamn. 

M/S Amorella was en route to Stockholm from Turku, when it hit rocks at Julgrund, outside of Foegloe, at 12:40 p.m. today.

The vessel was built 25 years ago in 1988 in Split, Croatia. 

Viking Line Amorella

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Jonas Bergsten

Photos Demonstrate Damage to MSC Magnifica After Allision in Piraeus

MSC Magnifica PiraeusEarlier this morning we reported on the allision between the MSC Magnifica and a breakwater / pier at the entrance to the port in Piraeus Greece.

High winds reportedly blew the cruise ship into the structure, causing damage to the hull on the port-side of the MSC ship.  A light on breakwater was destroyed by the ship.

MSC issued a statement stating that the damage was minor and that the vessel's itinerary was not affected.

The ship was suppose to leave port hours ago; however, the cruise ship's bridge cam still shows the ship in port as of the time of the posting (10:55 PM) of this article tonight (image above).  A team of repair personnel reportedly are working to try and fix the damage

We received photographs from a person on the Magnifica who wishes to remain anonymous. We are told that the damage to the hull measured approximately 8 & 1/2 feet by 11 & 1/2 feet.  The hull was ruptured above the water line. Interior damage to the ship was reported as you can see in other photos on our Facebook page.  

MSC Magnifica Damage - Piraeus

Photo Credit: Top - MSC Bridge Cam; Bottom - Anonymous

MSC Magnifica Runs Aground in Pireaus

MSC Magnifica PiraeusA number of news sources in Greece are reporting that a MSC cruise ship ran aground (note correction below) today at the southeast Greek port of Piraeus. Greek port authorities released the information. 

There were no injuries or major damage arising from the accident with the Panama-flagged ship Magnifica, the port authorities said. Bad weather conditions were apparently a factor in the incident. 

One news account says that maritime experts are currently investigating the accident, while most of Greece continued to be swept by storms today. 

The cruise ship's bridge cam at this time (image below) shows the cruise ship docked in Piraeus with calm conditions. In addition to the Magnifica, other cruise ships at the port of Pireaus today include the Rotterdam, Ruby Princess and the Constellation.

The Magnifica was reportedly carrying 2,469 passengers and 976 crew members.

If you have any information about the grounding, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

November 20 2013 Update: A number of readers informed me that the cruise ship allided with the left breakwater at the port of Piraeus and sustained slight damage to the portside hull above the waterline. This Greek newspaper article confirms an allision and not a grounding.  (Definition of "allision:" when a vessel strikes a fixed object; versus a "collision" when two vessel strike each other.)

You can see another photo of damage to the breakwater/pier here.

Very clear views of the damage to the breakwater and damage to the cruise ship can be seen here.

See video of the damage here.

See our additional photos of the damage to the interior of the cruise ship are here.

Photo credit top: http://www.tanea.gr/

MSC Magnifica Cruise Ship Web Cam

Superfast Ferry Collides with Mein Schiff 2 in Italy - Minor Damage Reported

Newspapers in Italy are reporting that a collision took place in the port of Bari (Puglia) in the southest of Italy when a Superfast ferry struck the Mein Schiff 2 cruise ship.

Corriere del Mezzogiorne and La Reppublica (Bari) report that high winds up to 40 knows caused the ferry to break her mooring lines and drift into the Mein Schiff 2 cruise ship operated by the German cruise Line TUI Cruises. The bulbous bow of the ferry then penetrated the starboard side of the cruise ship. 

There were no reported injuries of the passengers or the crew of the two vessels.

Inspections were conducted regarding the extent of the damage to determine whether the cruise ship will resume immediate operations.

Another ferry, the Ionis, also slipped its moorings, but the crew deployed the anchor to avoid collision with other vessels.

September 17 2013 Update: Passengers sent us some photos of the damage to the cruise ship which you can see on out Facebook page here

Mein Schiff 2 Collision

Mein Schiff Collision

Photo Credits: The Republic (top) and Corriere del Mezzogiorno (V. Archers) (bottom)

 

Carnival Sunshine Buzzes Venice & Rekindles Controversy

Venice Carnival Sunshine Cruise ShipA reader of this blog from Italy just sent me several articles regarding what many are describing as a near miss between a Carnival cruise ship and the Riva Sette Martiri, close to the Piazza San Marco (the principal public square of Venice, Italy).

An Italian newspaper reports that the Carnival Sunshine was sailing in the basin near Venice when its stern swung perilously close to the Riva Sette Martiri. Onlookers estimated the distance to be approximately 20 meters from the historic site.

A local commissioner complained that around 11 AM on July 27th, the Carnival ship, weighing over 102 thousand tons, 272 meters long, 35 meters wide and 62 meters high, almost struck one of the piers near Venice's Piazza San Marco. 

The impression was that is was either error in the operation of the cruise ship, or that the ship was conducting a "flyby" (also referred to as a "bow") for the thrill of the passengers. 

The newspaper article contains several first hand accounts that the Carnival ship was "tailing" out of the channel and close to the shore. One person said It's not the first time that happened." 

Venice Carnival Cruise Ship Carnival responded by stating that this was a "false story." The cruise line was quoted stating that the news is "completely false." Carnival claims that its cruise ship was over 72 meters from the shore and was following the planned route and was well within the permissible limits. Carnival also stated that the ship was under the command of a local port pilot. The distance from the shore was tested both by Carnival and the Italian Coast Guard based on the data of the VDR (voyage data recorder) of the ship.

Its hard to tell from the video below exactly how close the cruise ship came to shore. My thought is that whether it's 20 meters or 70 meters, either way that's too close to the shore of this beautiful city.

But whatever happened, it's sure to rekindle the debate whether monster cruise ships have any business in these waters.

Italians are naturally sensitive to the prospect of a massive ship causing damage to its historical treasures. The Costa Concordia disaster is still in everyone's minds.  Even more recent was the Jolly Nero incident. A large container ship cashed into a pier at a port in the Italian city of Genoa, causing numerous deaths and catastrophic damage.

There has been a great deal of controversy whether huge cruise ships like this should be permitted to sail into the basin by Venice. Environmentalists argue that cruise ships are overwhelming Venice with tourists and causing significant air pollution and eroding the foundations of the historical city. 

My personal thoughts about the issue are expressed in an article Are Cruise Ships Ruining Venice Or Just Memories From My Youth? 

Update / Correction: I erroneously referred to the basin by Venice as the "'Grand Canal."  The cruise ship was not in the Grand Canal, rather it was in the Guidecca canal,

The Daily Mail has an article about the incident with additional video and photos.  

Another newspaper, the Independent, published an article Cruise Ship Has Alleged Close Call in Venice.  It quotes Carnival saying that the captain was at the helm, not a port pilot.

July 29 2013 Update: Some newspapers in the U.K. are suggesting that the Carnival cruise ship was saluting CEO Micky Arison who was on a yacht nearby. Arison defends the maneuver on Twitter, tweeting: "To all my Venetian friends. Capt, Pilot, & Coast Guard with GPS evidence agree that the ship made a normal & safe transit thru the lagoon."

A cruise blogger, John Honeywell, who was on the Carnival Sunshine at the time of the alleged flyby, confirmed that Arison's yacht, Sirona III, was moored in the basin and that Arison was standing at the stern of the yacht when the cruise ship came by. Honeywell was an invited guest and was part of a group of U.S. and U.K. travel writers.  He later wrote a piece defending his cruise line host, calling the articles about the incident "ludicrous" and "complete nonsense."  

 

 

Did the Holland America Line New Amsterdam Nearly Run Aground in Split Croatia?

New Amsterdam Cruise Ship - Split CroatiaYesterday several readers of our Facebook Page sent an article from a Croatian website regarding an incident involving the New Amsterdam cruise ship operated by Holland America Line (HAL).

The article describes a scene where the HAL cruise ship allegedly came perilously close to a beach at Split, Croatia. By some accounts, the anchor may have become loose due to high winds. Others suggest that the cruise ship may have intentionally close to the public beach area.

The article has a short video clip as well as a few photos.

Does anyone have additional information about this story?

Please leave a comment below.

 

Small Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Canada

Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) reports that a cruise ship ran aground yesterday near Sainte-Pétronille, at the south end of Île d'Orléans on the St. Lawrence River.

57 passengers were on board. There are no reports of injury. A tugboat transported everyone back to shore. 

The ship is a small cruise ship named the Louis-Jolliet which left a port in Quebec City and was on its way to tour Montmorency Falls when it ran aground just before 3 p.m.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Coast Guard said late Thursday that Croisières AML, the cruise ship's owner, would either have the boat towed to safety or await high tide at 11:45 p.m. for the boat to free itself.

The cruise ship suffered what is being described as minor damage to its hull.

Photo Credit: CBC / Gilles Lachance

Louis Jolliet Cruise Ship

Jolly Nero Container Ship Crashes in Port of Genoa, Italy

News sources in Italy are reporting tonight on the allision between a container ship under pilot and a port control tower at the busy port of Genoa. Three people are reported dead, anywhere from four to six people are seriously injured, and between six to ten others are missing.

Rescue workers dived into the dark waters at the port in a night-time search for the missing.

The ship involved is the Jolly Nero container ship operated by the Messina Line based in Genoa. The accident brings back images of the Concordia cruise ship which was operated by Genoa-based Costa Crociere.    

Unlike the aloof Costa and Carnival owners and operators of the doomed Concordia which killed 32 passengers and crew and terrorized thousands more, the Jolly Nero's owner, Stefano Messina, arrived at the port shortly after the accident crash. He reportedly choked back tears as he told journalists: "We are all utterly shocked. Nothing like this has ever happened before, we are desperate."

There is speculation whether the accident involving the Jolly Nero was caused by reckless piloting or due to mechanical failure of the ship's engines.

May 8, 2013 Update: The BBC has an article and video about the accident.

Jolly Nero Collision Genoa Italy

Photo Credit: ilcorrieredabruzzo.it

News Channel 7 Investigates "Captain of Controversy" Francesco Schettino - Coward or Scapegoat?

Miami news station WSVN - 7 aired an interesting interview with Francesco Schettino last night and asked: Is he a coward who caused 32 people to die the night his ship the Costa Concordia capsized? Or is he is a professional who did all that he could to avert disaster due to mistakes by his crew? 

An Italian judge is in the process of considering evidence whether criminal charges should be filed against him and other Costa employees. 

Schettino blames his bridge team for navigating off-course towards the island and then failing to properly conduct the course change he ordered. He calls the incident an accident and questions why the prosecutors are trying to turn the incident into a crime.

The helmsman, from Indonesia, left the jurisdiction and will not return to Italy for trial if one is ordered.

Channel 7's investigation does not address the events which followed the cruise ship striking the rocks.

WSVN-TV -

Criminal Case Continues Against Captain Schettino - Island of Giglio Requests Compensation of 80,000,000 Euros

Giglio Costa ConcordiaA court in Italy is proceeding with preliminary hearings to consider evidence whether Captain Francesco Schettino will face trial for criminal charges for his involvement in the Costa Concordia disaster. 

Schettino, labelled "Captain Calamity" in the press, appeared at the proceedings yesterday, faces a trial on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. 

The Italian prosecutors requested the indictment of four crew members in the case, including the ship's helmsman, as well as Costa employee Roberto Ferrarini, the head of Costa Crociere's "crisis unit" who is accused of delaying the evacuation of the cruise ships.

The island of Giglio, which is the site of the stricken vessel, has requested permission to sue Captain Schettino, alleging that the island's image as a beautiful tourist spot has been irreparably damaged by the disaster. The island's lawyers are seeking damages of 80 million euros.

The Costa Concordia remains in the water at the entrance to the island's harbor.  Image courtesy of Giglio News.

Did Costa Cover-Up A Near Concordia-Like Disaster?

A newspaper in Italy is reporting that six and one-half years before the Costa Concordia disaster, another Costa cruise ship ruptured its hull during a "sail-by" maneuver off the coast of Capri.

Libero Quotidiano reports that in June 2005, the Costa Fortuna was sailing by the island of Capri off the western side of Italy.  The Fortuna, owned by Carnival and operated by Costa Crociere (Costa), had 3,500 passengers and crew members aboard.  According to the newspaper, the ship cruised into shallow water during what is called a "sail-by" or "salute" to entertain the quests.  Just like theCosta Fortuna Cruise Ship Sail By Concordia, the Fortuna's hull was ruptured by rocks in the shallow waters and the cruise ship began to take on water.

The Italian newspaper writes that the Master and officers of the Fortuna did not report the incident to the Italian Coast Guard or any maritime or port officials. The officers then ordered the use of pumps at maximum effort to keep the water from sinking the ship. The Fortuna was able to make it to the port of Palermo in Southern Italy. Once back in port, Costa had the hole repaired and then continued the cruise the following morning with all of the passengers.

The only thing reported by Costa was that there had been an abnormal rise in the temperature of an engine. After making this false report, Costa "buried" the incident.  

The incident came to light as part of the investigation into Costa following the 2012 Costa Concordia disaster. One of the photographers who worked in 2005 on Fortuna reported the incident to the Master of Palermo. His story has been verified.  Investigators said that there is "numerous and insurmountable" evidence to support the photographer's account. The incident was a "real critical situation," and it was only favorable weather conditions that avoided a disaster. 

Another Italian newspaper, La Nazione, covered this story and has additional information.  The reference to the 2005 incident is contained in a 700 page report about the Costa Concordia which focused on prior "sail bys."  On page 619 of the report, there is a reference to the Costa Fortuna cruising 300 meters from the coast near Sorrento when it hit a shoal and began to take on water, "just before a greeting to the island of Capri." The impact caused a gash in the hull "deep and ten meters long."  Passengers were disembarked from the ship in dry dock where the ship was repaired during the night by Fincantieri workers and set off on the morning of June 15 2005. The Master, Giuseppe Russo, did not report the incident, and the ship officers falsely stated that while cruising from Naples to Palermo there had been an unexpected rise of temperature.

La Nazione explains that there was never any indication of the incident to the maritime authorities until January 18 2012, when the wave of emotion caused by the sinking of Concordia and of the 32 victims, caused one of two Costa Fortuna photographers, Roberto Cappello, to come forward. 

This story was first reported last year by the U.K. press. The Sun reported that Fortuna ship photographer Cappello was on board the ship when he felt and heard a "loud bang" during the "sail by." The ship then rolled from left to right. Cappello later photographed damage to the cruise ship’s keel and broken propeller blade. However, Costa demanded and confiscated his photographs. Costa later claimed that the ship had "struck a whale."

Does anyone have information about this incident?  Are there any former crew member who worked on the Fortuna with information to share?  Leave a message or discuss the issue on our Facebook page.

April 15 2013 Update:

Costa sent a letter to the newspaper strongly denying the incident and threatening to sue.

According to La Nazione Grosetto, Costa categorically denies that the Fortuna was Involved in a collision in shallow water near Capri on June 13, 2005 which caused a leak in the hull, as reported by a photographer on board the ship. Costa states that after departure from the port of Naples, around 7:00 PM on June 13 2005, the Fortuna experienced only a "minor technical problem" to a propeller shaft which did not compromise safety or navigation. There was a short stop in the dock in Palermo, the next port, and repairs were successfully performed between 14 and 15 June 2005. On June 15 2005, the ship was permitted to leave the dock, with certificates issued by the certifying authority competent, and the cruise ship departed Palermo at 9.00 AM on its cruise itinerary.

Costa Cruises reserves all legal action against those who continue to spread news which is defamatory to the company's image.  

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Hanseaticus

Cruise Deja Vu - Third Cruise Ship Stikes Rock in One Week!

Marco Polo Cruise ShipI thought that I was experiencing deja vu while reading accounts that a cruise ship struck underwater rocks in a Norwegian fjord yesterday, resulting in damage to the ship's hull.

The Marco Polo, operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages, was sailing from Sortland, Norway, when the incident occurred. 

A week ago we reported on a similar grounding which occurred when Hurtigruten's Kong Harald struck a submerged rock and took on water in another fjord in Norway.

On the same day, Lindblad Expedition's National Geographic Sea Lion ran aground near Panama.

Regarding the latest grounding, Cruise Critic is saying that the rock which the Marco Polo hit was "uncharted." This was what Captain Schettino claimed after he rammed the Concordia into rocks off of the coast of Giglio.

You can read another story about cruise ship operators using the "uncharted rock" excuse: "Uncharted Rocks" and Other Tall Tales - Clipper Adventurer Ran Into A Charted Hazard

Rocks Ahoy! Two Cruise Ships Damaged in One Day

The final score today: under-water rocks - 2; cruise ships - 0.

Cruise Critic reports that a Hurtigruten cruise ship ran aground and took on water in a Norwegian fjord north of the Arctic Circle.  The 490 passenger Kong Harald had to wait for the tide to lift the cruise ship off a rock at the entrance to Trollfjord. The ship cruised to Svolvaer, where all of the 258 passengers onboard disembarked. Hurtigruten cancelled the remainder of the cruise, and the ship will be dry-docked for repairs to its breached hull. 

Meanwhile a Lindblad Expeditions "adventure ship" struck a submerged rock causing damage to the hull of the vessel and a propeller, according to USA TODAY.  The 62 passenger National Geographic Sea Lion was departing the Las Perlas Islands, 70 miles from Panama City, when it struck a rock. The Sea Lion will enter dry dock at Panama City to undergo repairs. The next departure of the vessel, scheduled to begin March 9, has been canceled. 

No crew or passengers were injured in these mishaps.

It seems too soon after Costa Concordia for cruise ships, large or small, to strike under-water rocks.

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship - Under Water Rocks   

Photo Credit: Costa Concordia - AP via Voice of America

Chaos, Confusion & Fear Aboard Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia Cruise ShipNewspapers in Europe are reporting on the contents of the legal submissions made by the Italian prosecutors who have been collecting evidence regarding the Costa Concordia disaster.

Sky News has an interesting video which you can watch here

You can hear about 5 year old Dayana Arlotti who drown along with her father after they were denied seats on a lifeboat and then directed to the other side of the cruise ship.

Crew member Giuseppe Girolamo drowned after he gave up his place on a lifeboat for another person who survived the ordeal.

Prosecutors are seeking criminal trials against Captain Schettino (for manslaughter and abandoning ship) as well as other Costa employees. 

Ferry Slams Into Pier in NYC: Over 50 People Injured

A commuter ferry slammed into a dock in lower Manhattan this morning during rush hour, injuring more than 50 people commuting into New York City. Newspapers report that at least two of the ferry passengers were critically injured.

CBS News states that the accident involved the Seastreak Wall Street. The New York Times states that the ferry is operated by Sea Streak Ferry, and provides daily service from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan. It can accommodate several hundred passengers. There were over 300 SeaStreak Wall Street Ferry Crash in Manhatten passengers aboard at the time of the accident.

At the time of the impact the ferry was proceeding at a high rate of speed (with one passenger estimating around 60 MPH) when it violently struck the pier. Scores of people who had been standing up and waiting to disembark were hurled to the deck, into poles and walls, and down stairs. 

Some people described the accident like a big car crash.

57 people were reportedly injured according to the New York Times which showed dramatic photographs of passengers lying on flatboards with their heads and necks immobilized.

The Times mentions compares this incident to the October 15, 2003, accident when a Staten Island Ferry hit a maintenance pier at full speed, killing 11 and injuring 70 people.  A pilot, who had been incapacitated at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The investigators also faulted training and enforcement of safety rules. 

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating and gathering information about this latest incident. 

You can review the Seastreak's website here and its twitter page here.  One of the last tweets on Seastreaks page is by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg "Thanks to @SeaStreakNJNYC  . . . residents of the #Rockaways have an affordable & reliable way to get to #Manhattan."

Photographs of the scene in lower Manhattan look like a war zone:

Seastreak Wall Street Crash

Photo credit: Mark Lennihan / AP via New York Times.   

Costa Pacifica Strikes Pier in Marseille, France

Costa is back in the news with a widely reported incident where the Costa Pacifica cruise ship violently struck a piling in the Port of Marseille this morning. The cruise ship sustained a gash of around 8 meters long, which luckily is above the waterline. 

Costa down-played the incident stating that the damage was just a few feet long and would not delay the cruise ship's itinerary.

The damage to the Costa Pacifica is very similar to damage to the Costa Classica.  Read our article two years ago: New Photographs Reveal Extent of Damage to Costa Classica. 

Costa Pacifica Cruise Ship

Norwegian Star - Explorer of the Seas Collision Caught on Video!

A passenger aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas video-taped the collision with the NCL Norwegian Star last week (September 14, 2012) in port in Bermuda.  The NCL ship was hit by high winds (75 MPH) which caused the Star to break away from its mooring lines and strike the stern of the Royal Caribbean ship.

The video was shot from the Windjammer cafe and you can hear the passengers excitedly chattering and sometimes laughing throughout the incident. A Royal Caribbean officer appears in the video and says "you hit my ship!"

The video is by Floobboober (YouTube):

 

Royal Caribbean Posts Bogus Comment to Article Regarding Alleged Near Collision Involving Liberty of the Seas

Yesterday I blogged about a near collision which allegedly occurred between Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas and a small Italian fishing boat, the Angela II, which is based in Civitavecchia.   

You can read my article: Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas Nearly Runs Over Italian Fishing Boat. The article was based on an account from the highly credible cruise blog Noticias de Cruceros.  You can also read about the incident here from an Italian newspaper.

This morning, someone posted a comment to my article, claiming that the near collision story was a lie, and suggesting that the Italian authorities made it up.  The person who posted the comment claims that Royal Caribbean Cruises - Bogus PR he was on the cruise ship and says that the fishing boat had no fishing equipment and that it was the Liberty of the Seas which altered course and passed the boat by some 250 meters.  

Now, I was not on the cruise so I don't know what happened. There are two sides to every story and I'd like to know what really happened.

We have the fishing boat's version of events. There is no official corporate statement by Royal Caribbean at this point.  And I can find no comments from the passengers on the cruise ship.  Just this one comment to my blog:    

"It's such a lie, what they wrote there,I been on this ship and watch what happened.This fishing boat was with out any fishing equipment and just suddenly start to run towards the ship from close distance.The ship is the one who alter course to avoid collision,where fishing boat just stopped dead in front of them and distance when we pass fishing boat was over 250 mtrs.

However,it's was a nice try from Italian authorities to blame the ship,but not their own fishing boat,for creating such a dangerous situation for the ship."

The person leaving the comment left only a first name and a bogus email address: John10@gmail.com.

After a little research, I determined that the comment  was posted by someone at Royal Caribbean's headquarters in Miami.  How do I know that?  I'm not saying.  But I am 100% certain that it was sent from the Royal Caribbean offices near the port of Miami.

Cruise Law News (CLN) is a very popular blog. Lots of people love to cruise but subscribe to this blog to get "the other side of the story."  Many major cruise lines here in Miami understand that. They will respond to our inquiries about issues we write about here and send us press statements. If we have our facts wrong, the cruise lines will call or send us an email.  I will immediately post their statements to set the record  straight, even if the statements are pure PR drivel.  

But Royal Caribbean is different. It is the least transparent cruise line in the business. It refuses to respond to requests for information.  Instead of issuing a corporate statement under its letterhead, it will be sneaky and try and slide in a comment pretending to be a passenger, and an eye witness at that! What kind of reputable PR department acts like this? 

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas Nearly Runs Over Italian Fishing Boat

The popular cruise blog Noticias de Cruceros reports that yesterday the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship almost collided with a small Italian fishing vessel, the Angelo II based in Civitavecchia, in waters near the port city of Latium on the western coast of Italy.  

According to Noticias de Cruceros, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship was on a collision course with the Angela II, which had deployed its cables and fishing nets and was trawling for fish.  The captain of the much smaller fishing boat radioed the Liberty of the Seas as it was bearing down on the boat, but the cruise ship neither responded nor altered course.  

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas - Near Collision - Angela II Fishing BoatThe captain of the Angela II had to cut all of its cables and nets and execute an emergency maneuver to avoid being run over by the Liberty of the Seas which passed 15 meters (less than 35 feet) away. 

The captain notified the Italian Coast Guard which opened an administrative investigation, which could turn into a criminal investigation if the authorities conclude that the cruise ship ignored its radar and the cries from the fishing vessel via radio and refused to alter course.

The Angela II also alleges economic damages after its cables and nets sank.

The Noticias de Cruceros blog points out that giant cruise ships like the Liberty of the Seas are chock full of sophisticated technical equipment like radar, VHF, electronic charts, GPS, and many other systems. However the problem is that notwithstanding all of this technology, the bridge officers can make reckless decisions like intentionally sailing close to shore (a la' Costa Concordia) or ignoring cries for help (a la' Star Princess) or, in this case, not answering the radio or changing course to avoid a collision with a smaller fishing boat.

The blog concludes that while the cruise industry is considering improvements to its operating procedures, consideration must be given to re-evaluating the staffing of the bridge team and the training of the bridge officers to maintain a proper lookout. 

 

July 8, 2012 Update:  

First Update:  An article about the alleged near-collision in an Italian newspaper can be read here

I have not read any comments by passengers about the incident (like Cruisemates or Cruise Critic) and am curious whether anyone can confirm or deny the newspaper account?  If you were a passenger or crew member on the cruise and have information to share, please leave a comment below. Anyone have photographs or video to share?

Second Update:  The first comment below was sent by someone at Royal Caribbean offices in Miami. Read our article about this sneaky comment: 

Royal Caribbean Posts Bogus Comment to Article Regarding Alleged Near Collision Involving Liberty of the Seas

Third Update:  Cruise Critic reports that Royal Caribbean confirms that "Liberty of the Seas was in close proximity to a small vessel on July 4th."  However, a PR representative for Royal Caribbean told Cruise Critic "We are still working to gather all the facts, so I cannot confirm or deny the information,"

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship Strikes Pier Next to Aircraft Carrier

A New York online newspaper in Manhattan, DNAinfo.com, reports that the Norwegian Star cruise ship collided with the U.S.S. Intrepid aircraft carrier this morning while the cruise ship was trying to dock at the harbor in Manhattan.

The aircraft carrier is part of the Intrepid Museum and is moored at the harbor.  

Passengers on the NCL cruise ship dispute that the ship struck the carrier.  Passengers leaving comments indicate that the Norwegian Star struck the pier next to the carrier.  

The 965-foot-long cruise ship - which was on its first trip to New York this season - was struggling to dock Friday morning because of "heavy winds and choppy waters," Norwegian Cruise Line officials said in an email.

Norwegian Star Cruise Ship Collides USS IntrepidAccording to the Manhattan newspaper, witnesses said the cruise ship tried to reverse course in order to dock, but was unsuccessful.

"He tried four times, up and back, up and back, four times," said Drago Ivanko, an elevator porter on Pier 88, referring to the ship operator. "It was windy, low tide. When there's low tide, the river started going a little faster."

John Chiaradio, 49, who was on the cruise with his wife, Sheli, said he could feel the impact.

"He hit about mid-ship on the starboard side," said Chiaradio, of Bristol, Conn.

"It was loud. It sounded like sticks breaking. Big sticks."

This is the last thing the cruise industry needs for the public to imagine, cruise ships unable to handle low tide and moderate winds, crashing into a pier next to a retired aircraft carrier from our Navy's fleet. 

This is not the first time that a NCL cruise ship struck a pier in Manhattan.  In May 2008, the Norwegian Spirit struck a pier in the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.  Professional Mariner reported:

"The 1,074-foot cruise ship was headed upriver with the intention of docking at Pier 88, just south of Pier 90, the Coast Guard said. The vessel was returning from an eight-day voyage to the Caribbean, with about 2,000 passengers and 1,100 crew.

As is routine, Norwegian Spirit made a single, uninterrupted sweeping turn to starboard in an attempt to slip into Pier 88. Unfortunately, the turn was too wide and the crew failed to back down in time, said Lt. Thomas Casey, a Coast Guard investigator.

'The starboard side of the vessel moors to the north side of Pier 88,” Casey said. “She is a large vessel, and it’s a pretty tight area. She wound up striking the side of Pier 90.'"

 

 

 

Video credit:  jmchiaradio (youtube)

Cruise Ship Dangers: A Reckless Maneuver On A Calm Day

Cruise Expert Professor Ross Klein has one of the most exhaustive and informative web sites for all of the things that go wrong on cruise ships.  

This weekend I read this comment from a reader of his site about an encounter between a MSC container ship and a MSC cruise ship, the MSC Lirica.  It seems that the Italian shipping company has a tradition of their ship "buzzing" each  other, not unlike "saluting" an island like the Italian cruise ship the Concordia did to the island of Giglio.     

The following are the comments and photographs from a cruise passenger aboard the Lirica who observed the incident.  Very dramatic and potentially very dangerous.  Credit to Professor Klein's cruisejunkie web site.

"On 25 March the MSC LIRICA was overtaken by a container ship, the MSC LAUREN, in a very close quarter situation. Weather conditions were fine and seas were open. The ship was sailing south of Sicily at about 17 kts on a voyage from Kuwait to Hamburg. As we know since the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the claims of Capt. Schettino, that his company and others like to pass extremely close certain geographical co-ordinates, the same seems to be the philosophy of another cruise ship company too - to meet company ships as well as in a close-up situation of less than 100 meters. The MSC LAUREN approached the MSC LIRICA from starboard aft - she came closer and closer and once the LAUREN was abeam the distance was less than one cable. Whistles were blowing, passengers waving and none of them was aware about the high risk in case of a blackout or engine or rudder-failure on one of the ships. This practice is inconsistent (with) good bridge management practices.

MSC Lirica versus MSC Lauren

MSC Lirica versus MSC Lauren

Anyone else see a maneuver like this between two ships?

Silversea Silver Shadow Collides with Container Ship

CNN iReport contains a first hand account from a passenger describing a collision between Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow cruise ship and what is being described as a Vietnamese container ship near Halong bay, Vietnam. The report indicates damage to both the cruise ship and the container ship.   The passenger's account and a photograph of the damaged container ship are below:

"We're on Silversea silver shadow cruise ship and we just collided with a Vietnamese container ship near Halong bay, Vietnam. We slammed into the side of it, in thick fog

Silversea Silver Shadow Collision - VietnamThe other ship was severely damaged, and crew hurt, damage to our ship is being asessed in hong kong. Passengers were called to muster stations.

Our ship has a hole in the bow, heres a pic of the other ship, it was struck in two places - their bridge, and we ripped a large tear in the side too.

I have more pics of the damage, sending this from my cellphone.

Many Brits and U.S. on board

Cruiseline is down playing incident but its serious.

Andrew lock  Sent from my iPhone"

11:00 AM Update: Silversea Cruises issued a press statement this morning, admitting only that a “minor incident” occurred last Friday (March 16th) as the cruise ship was approaching Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

"Silver Shadow was involved in a minor incident on March 16, 2012 at around 4:20 GMT as it was approaching the pilot station in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. There was contact between Silver Shadow and a local commercial vessel. Silver Shadow incurred limited minor dents and guests' safety was never compromised. The ship was fully operational and continued on its course to Ha Long Bay where all shore tours operated normally.  Silversea will carry out a full investigation into the incident."

Silvereas is mum regarding the extent of the damage to the container vessel or whether there were casualties aboard the other vessel.  

Silverseas did not release information until after the collision was reported on CNN and mentioned repeatedly on Twitter. 

2:00 PM Update:

Cruise passenger Andrew Lock has a facebook page where he uploaded photos and a video describing the events. 

CNN has excellent coverage of the story.  CNN's video is below:  

 

 

If you were on the cruise and have additional information, photographs or video, please leave a comment below.

 

Photo credit:  Andrew Lock via CNN iReport  

Chemical Tanker "Gelso M" Runs Aground Off Sicily - Video

Just two months after the Italian flagged Costa Concordia cruise ship struck rocks near the Italian island of Giglio, another Italian vessel has run aground off the coast of Sicily.  

The 500 foot Gelso M ran aground in high winds and rough seas this morning, near the port town of Syracuse. The captain of the tanker called for assistance from the Italian Coast Guard which safely rescued 19 crewmembers from the stricken vessel notwithstanding high winds. 

Reports are that the vessel was taking on water, although the tanker was not carrying any cargo at the time.  

There is already criticism in the international press that the captain had sailed the vessel too close to the shore given the weather conditions.  Fortunately, due to the skill of the Italian Coast Guard, this grounding has a happier ending than the Concordia disaster. 

 

 

Video credit: SiracusaNews YouTube

Costa Concordia Calamity Just the Latest Disaster for Cruise Industry

Cruise Ship Disasters - MSC Poesia Following the spectacle of the Costa Concordia disaster, the cruise industry is starting its campaign to convince the public that cruising is safe notwithstanding the terrifying and grotesque images of the stricken ship.

Pro-cruise trade organizations line the Cruise Line International Association ("CLIA") will claim that incidents like this are "rare" and will characterize the Costa Concordia as a "freak" accident.  But in truth this incident is just the latest cruise disaster in a long line of disasters.

One week ago, Italian cruise liner the MSC Poesia ran aground into a reef in the Bahamas while sailing to Port Lucaya near Freeport, Bahamas.  You can read about that incident here - MSC Poesia Destroys Reef in the Bahamas - Cruise Ship with 26' Draft Sailed Into 15' Waters

The 93,000-ton cruise ship needs twenty-five feet of draft but sailed into only fifteen (15) feet of water. Fortunately for the cruise ship (and unfortunately for the priceless and irreplaceable reef), the vessel ground the fragile reef into bits.  MSC was not able to get off the reef until high tide. But the incident did not stop the cruise ship from tendering cruise passengers to Port Lucaya to enjoy themselves at the beach.  Once high tide freed the ship, the Poesia sailed off as if nothing Cruise Ship Disaster  - Costs Europahappened.  Few people in the media reported on this near disaster. 

It takes deaths and destruction  to focus the media on problems in the cruise industry. 

There have been two serious collisions of Costa cruise ships in the last two years.

In February 2010, the Costa Europa cruise ship collided with a pier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.  The allision ripped a hole in the hull of the ship and flooded a crew cabin, resulting in the death of three crew members and injury to four passengers.  Photographs of the Costa Europa show the vessel listing heavily on its port side, in order to keep water pouring into the large opening on the starboard side.  You can read about that incident here  - Costa Europa Collides With Pier in Egypt - Three Crew Dead, Passengers Injured

In October 2010, the Costa Classica cruise ship collided with a cargo vessel, the Belgian registered bulk carrier Lowlands Longevity, at the mouth of the Yangtze River.  The ship suffered a long gash over 60 feet long in its side and several passengers were injured.  You can read about that Costa cruise ship crash here: New Photographs Reveal Extent of Damage to Costa Classica

In addition to these collisions, an engine room fire broke out onboard the Costa Romantica near Uruguay in February 2009.  A year earlier, in may 2008, there was a dangerous near-collision between the Costa Atlantica and a cargo ship, the Grand Neptune, where the captain of the Costa cruise ship was heavily criticized.  You can read the UK Marine accident report here. (There is speculation that Captain Schettino was at the vessel's captain at the time.)

Cruise Ship Disaster - Costs ClassicaThe parent company of Costa is Carnival cruise line which has had more than its fair share of disasters.

The U.S. Coast Guard blasted Carnival for its negligence following the November 2010 fire aboard the Carnival Splendor cruise ship when the cruise line's fire suppression system malfunctioned.  The Splendor was a relatively new cruise ship manufactured in Italy.  The fire caused the failure of all of the generators on the cruise ship which stranded over 3,500 passengers on the high seas off the coast of Mexico.  "Coast Guard Blasts Carnival Splendor for Fire Negligence"

The U.S. Navy sent an aircraft carrier to the scene and the U.S. Coast Guard had to tow the stricken cruise ship back to the U.S., at the U.S. tax payer's expense.

Plus consider the following serious events:

Fires Breaks Out On Bahamas Celebration Cruise Ship - December 2011.

Star Princess Cruise Ship Fire - 2006Over 1200 Passengers Rescued from Burning Ferry in the Red Sea, One Dead & Many Injured - November 2011

Fire & Rough Weather Mar Queen Mary 2 Cruise - October 2011

Cruise Ship Fire in Norway Kills Two - September 2011

Explosion Rocks Port in Gibraltar - Independence of the Seas Avoids Damage - May 2011 

First Mexican Cruise Ship Catches on Fire - April 2011

Engine Room Fire Aboard MSC Cruises' Musica Cruise Ship - December 2010

Over 200 Passengers Rescued From Burning Ferry in Baltic Sea - October 2010

Power Outage on Queen Mary 2 Due to Catastrophic Explosion - September 2010

Fire Breaks Out On Cruise Ship In Norway - May 2010

Sun Vista Cruise Ship FireAll of this occurred in the last two years!  In May of 2010, I chronicled the series of serious cruise disasters back over the last decade - Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?  If you are going to read one story on this blog, it is this one - the dangerous history of cruise ship fires dating from the Princess Cruises Star Princess fire in 2006 to the fire and sinking of the Sun Vista earlier in the1990's.

So as you digest the disturbing story of the renegade captain working for a cruise line with numerous recent casualties and the photos of the luxury liner on its side, don't let the cruise industry fool you into believing that this is an isolated accident.   

 

Don't miss watching: Top Five Worst Cruise Ship Disaster Videos (to be updated)

On a lighter note:  Tina Fey's Honeymoon Ruined By Cruise Ship Fire?

 

Photo credits:

MSC Poesia - shipwrecklog

Costa Europa cruise ship - AP (Hussien Talal) via Mail Online

Costa Classica - EPA via Mail Online  

Environmental Groups File Suit in California to Slow Ships Down in Order to Avoid Whale Strikes

Cruise Ship - Whale Strike - Speed LimitThe Mercury News in San Jose California reports that four environmental groups filed a petition with the federal government today seeking to force cruise ships and other large vessels to slow down in waters between San Francisco and Los Angeles in order to reduce the chances of whale strikes.

A San Francisco environmental group, Pacific Environment, as well as Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Environmental Defense Center filed the petition.  They are seeking to apply a speed limit of 10 knots for all vessels larger than 65 feet while sailing through California's four national marine sanctuaries.

The legal proceeding was filed against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA").  

The newspaper reports that nearly 50 large whales off California have been struck by ships in the last 10 years.  Around 3,500 cargo ships, oil tankers and cruise ships sail into San Francisco Bay every year, many are coming from or heading to Los Angeles, typically traveling between 13 and 25 knots.

Shipping company officials told the newspaper that they do neither support nor oppose such a speed limit, and will not commit to a position until more study is performed indicating that it can reduce collisions.

If NOAA fails to impose a speed limit, the environmental groups said that they will consider filing a lawsuit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and other laws.

In one of the most graphic photographs of a cruise ship / whale strike, in 2009 the Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess arrived in port in Vancouver, unaware that the cruise ship impaled a fin whale on the ship's bow while in Alaskan waters (photo below).  The whale was a female fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).  Princess claimed that the whale was already dead when the cruise ship hit her.  

Cruise Ship Strike - Dead Whale - Speed Limit

 

Photo credits:

Top:  John Ford / WildWhales.org

Bottom:  Rex Features / Telegraph U.K.

HAL's Westerdam Cruise Ship Strikes Ice Cruising Through Yakutat Bay Near Hubbard Glacier

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a press release indicating that it is investigating an allision between Holland America Lines' cruise ship Westerdam and ice in the vicinity of Yakutat Bay today.

The Westerdam was reportedly maneuvering through ice near Hubbard Glacier Tuesday evening when it sustained damage approximately 15 feet below the cruise ship's waterline. The Coast Guard press release reports that the vessel's hull was not breached.  Fortunately, there is no report of pollution and the passengers and crew are okay. 

The Westerdam continued on with its cruise to Sitka, where the cruise ship was met by Coast Guard representatives. 

This morning, HAL issued a statement claiming that the "winds were high at the time," and stressing that "the hull was not breached, and the ship continued on its published itinerary as planned."

HAL also says that the Westerdam will sail on its next cruise as scheduled.

Yakutat Bay - HAL - Holland America Line
 

Video: MSC Opera Cruise Ship Hits Dock in Buenos Aires

My Brazilian friend, Alexandre Gonçalves da Rocha, alerted me today to an accident which recenty occurred at the port in Buenos Aires when the MSC Opera struck the dock. 

Alexandre is a Brazilian who works as a maritime pilot at the port of Itajai since 1998 (no, he was not piloting this cruise ship!).  He writes a great maritime blog called "Safe Seas."  His article about this incident is here.

Cruise Industry News obained a statement from MSC Cruises which stated there was no threatening damage to the ship in what appeared to be a "minor mishap."  A passenger took a video of the damage and it does not look "minor" at all. 

Its humerous to see the crew members trying to wave the passengers away from taking photos or video.

Fortunately no one was injured when the cruise ship allided with the dock. 

 

 

Video credit:  wargalis youtube 

 

Royal Caribbean and Disney Try to Cover Up Near Collision Between Monarch of the Seas and Disney Dream

A video has been circulating on the internet which shows the new Disney Dream cruise ship coming perilously close to colliding with Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas, just days before the Dream was christened in Port Canaveral. 

A passenger's YouTube video shows the Dream drifting very close to the Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  

The Orlando Sentinel reports that before the video was uploaded to YouTube, officials with Disney Cruise Lines, Port Canaveral and the U.S. Coast Guard said they were unaware of any such incident.   Disney's PR people are now claiming that the ship was never in danger of a collision. 

"The ship was under the control of our captain the entire time," spokeswoman Christi Donnan said. "There was never a safety concern."

Yeah, right.

The interesting thing is that a Royal Caribbean crewmember stopped the passengers from filming or taking photos of the incident.  You can see the Royal Caribbean employee blocking the passenger's video camera: 

 

 

The passenger left the following comment on his YouTube page:  

THIS WAS NOT REPORTED ON THE NEWS AND THE CREW TRIED TO KEEP PASSENGERS FROM FILMING!!  Standing on RCI Monarch of the Seas during the mandatory Muster drill when Disney Dream began to turn around.  Mickey got closer .... and Closer.... AND CLOSER!!!!!  The crew tried to keep us from video taping so this is in parts.  We were all certainly bracing for the BUMP!!!!  An officer ran by us, gesturing to the Dream and taking on a radio - Muster came to a STOP until the Disney Dream missed us.  The officer said it was less than one foot - JUST BARELY!!!!  This happened in Port Canaveral as the Monarch of the Seas was leaving.  The Harbor Master was aboard the Monarch and the Disney Dream did not have the authorization to move the ship.  The Disney Dream was set to have the christening on the 19th for the maiden voyage, but it almost didn't happen!!!

 

Video credit:  Floridagalrb's YouTube page

New Photographs Reveal Extent of Damage to Costa Classica

Mail Online has published new photographs of the Costa Classica cruise ship following the October 18th collision with the bulk carrier Lowlands Longevity as the two vessels headed into port in Shanghai.

We reported on this yesterday: Costa Classica Cruise Ship Collides with Cargo Ship.

The photographs show a large gash into the passenger cabins, with ten porthole windows completely obliterated.  The gash looks to be at least four feet in height.  You can see people (probably marine investigators) standing near what used to be the portholes in the passenger cabins.  Scary stuff!

Be sure to check out the video of the damage, via Chinese television.

 

Costa Classica - Lowlands Longevity -  Collision - Cruise Ship

Credit: EPA via Mail Online

 

Costa Classica - Lowlands Longevity -  Collision - Cruise Ship

Credit: EPA via Mail Online

 

 

 

Video Credit:       Sina.com   

Costa Classica Cruise Ship Collides with Cargo Ship

Costa Classica - Collision The Costa Classica cruise ship operated by Costa Cruises collided with a cargo vessel at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The Shanghai Daily reports that the ship suffered a long gash over 60 feet long in its side and several passengers were injured. Three passengers were transferred to hospital ashore.

The accident happened in the early morning hours this morning as the cruise ship was heading into port. The cargo vessel involved was the Belgian registered bulk carrier Lowlands Longevity, which was also sailing into port.

This has been an ill-fated cruise.  Yesterday, we reported on Chinese passengers abandoning the cruise ship to try and find work in South Korea - 44 Chinese Passengers Jump Ship In South Korea.

 

 

Photo credit:   Eastbay.com (via Malcolm Oliver's Cruiseblog)
 

Lawsuits Filed In Duck Boat Cruise Disaster

Duck Boat Accident - Delaware River Lawsuits have been filed following the sinking of a "Duck Boat" cruise vessel on Delaware River in Philadelphia in July.

On July 7, a 250 foot barge pushed by a tugboat ran over and sank a disabled "Ride the Ducks" amphibious tour boat with 35 passengers and 2 crew members aboard. 

The tugboat either did not hear or ignored multiple warnings that the tour boar was disabled in the river.  

The majority of the passengers survived and 10 were injured.  But 2 student tourists from Hungary, Dora Schwendtner (age 16) and Szabolcs Prem (age 20), drowned.  

"'Duck Boats" are World War II vintage amphibious personnel vessels, officially called "DUKWs," which have been converted for tourist excursions.  In 1999, the Miss Majestic "duck boat" sank in Hot Springs, Arkansas and 13 passengers drowned.

Read the NTSB's preliminary report on the accident 

This is the type of accident where the insurance companies for the tug and tour boat owners and operators should admit liability and pay reasonable compensation to the families of the two dead Hungarian tourists. 

 

Boat Duck Collision - Philadelphia - Delaware River

 

Photo credit:   WPVI / Philadelphia Police (via CNN)

Carnival Ecstasy Listing Update: Smooth Sailing to Chaos & Confusion

We have been inundated with emails and calls from passengers who were injured or traumatized during the "listing incident" involving the Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship on April 21, 2010. 

We have received over 30 comments alone on our article "Did Carnival's Ecstasy Cruise Ship Almost Hit A Sand Bar?"  Take a moment and read about the terror these families experienced.

Carnival Ecstasy - Cruise Ship - Listing - Buoy - Smooth Sailing?The comments fall into two categories - (1) passengers who observed or believed that a buoy, sand bar, shoal or island was involved which the cruise ship tried to avoid; or (2) skeptical readers who claim that there are no sand bars, shoals or islands in the Gulf of Mexico (these people usually were not on the cruise).

One thing that everyone who who was on the cruise has confirmed - the water in the Gulf of Mexico at the time of the incident was absolutely calm.  So calm that you could water ski or skip a rock across the water.  Ironically, the cruise was advertised as "Smooth Sailing" by swing dance instructor "Big Smooth" who was apparently teaching swing dance during the five day cruise (photograph above).  

Most passengers who have contacted us believe that Carnival has not told the truth.  They tell us that the cruise line lacks honesty by either under-reporting the number of injuries, or claiming that a loose buoy could not be detected by radar, or by claiming that the ship listed only 12 degrees, or by denying that the cruise ship may have been trying to avoid a sand bar or island in its path.

Several passengers have emailed us photographs of the TV monitors which show that the Ecstasy was passing or had just passed two islands at the time of the listing (photograph below).  Photographs and video of this type were take by several passengers of the TVs on the ships.

Did the cruise ship almost run into a shoal or small island?  I don't know.  The water was deep at this location in the Gulf of Mexico.  But what about the "islands" on the TV?   It is less than clear what was going on.  We are not going to know the truth until the U.S. Guard finishes its investigation.

But assuming that Carnival is right (which I am reluctant to admit), and the Ecstasy was just trying to avoid a buoy, how on earth could the vessel's officers not have detected the buoy on the cruise ship's radar?  Even small power-boats with modest radar systems can easily pick up a buoy like this many miles away.  There is no possible excuse for a large cruise ship with sophisticated radar systems not to have detected the buoy - whether it was marking a hazard or was adrift as Carnival claims. 

Probably the Master was not on duty, and the officers on duty (assuming someone was on duty) were asleep at the helm.  

There is something very fishy with Carnival's story . . .  it stinks. 

Carnival's passengers paid several thousands of dollars for this cruise, only to go from smooth sailing to chaos, panic and confusion. 

These nice people are not as stupid as Carnival thinks. 

They deserve straight talk and a truthful explanation regarding what happened.    

Carnival Ecstasy - Listing - Buoy - Islands? - Chaos

 

Credits:

Carnival Ecstasy TV navigational photo                Cory Forister

Did Carnival's Ecstasy Cruise Ship Almost Hit A Sand Bar?

We have written a couple of articles about the recent incident when Carnival's Ecstasy cruise ship heavily listed in the Gulf of Mexico, injuring 60 passengers and frightening many hundreds more. 

Carnival Ecstasy - Listing - Bouy?  -  Or Sand Bar?We received a message from one of the passengers on the cruise, suggesting that the Carnival cruise ship was about to hit a sand bar which was marked by a buoy.  And the cruise line is covering up the true circumstances of the incident.  Here is the message:   

"I was on that cruise. There was a buoy, but the buoy was there marking a sand bar that we almost ran aground on!! The land mass was on the radar. You can see the radar, direction and course of the ship on one of the channels in each cabins TV. The ship made a NINETY DEGREE TURN!! You dont do that to avoid a buoy! I was also told by a crew member that someone on the bridge was getting fired over the mistake. The cruise line is covering its butt!!"

But Carnival's PR person Jennifer de la Cruz told CNN "the ship listed 12 degrees to the right to avoid hitting a large, adrift buoy . . ." 

Who is telling the truth?  There are also some comments on Cruise Critic debating this.  One reader posted this comment: 

"Hmmm.. Not buying the official story. I was on the ship, and minutes before the sharp turn we were near a TV in the Rolls Royce cafe where they show the position of the ship on a map, speed, etc.  We noticed the ship was heading directly towards 2 very small (submerged?) islands on the map . . . and no one on board is buying this "phantom buoy" story . . .   

Carnival Ecstasy - Buoy? - Accident - List 

But another Cruise Critic reader suggested that the cruise ship was in water several thousands of feet deep.

So what really happened? 

Was there really a loose buoy floating around? Or was the buoy marking a navigational hazard?  Are there really sand bars (or reefs) in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, 200 miles off of the coast of Louisiana?

What are the exact coordinates of the incident?

The U.S. Coast Guard will be investigating, but it will take some time to get to the bottom of the incident.  Are there other passengers who know what really happened? 

Does anyone have a photo of the phantom buoy?

Let us hear from you in the comment section below . . .   

Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship - Empty Pool Following List - Buoy?

 

There are many videos on the internet regarding the listing incident.  The video below is raw video from a reporter with the Galveston County Daily:   

 

 

Be sure to read our updated article: Carnival Ecstasy Listing Update: Smooth Sailing to Chaos & Confusion and Carnival Mocks Injured and Traumatized Cruise Passenger Complaints As "Completely Ridiculous"

 

Photograph credits:

Ecstasy cruise ship        Carlos Javier Sanchez, Bloomberg News / Getty Images (via AOL News)

Injured passenger and empty pool        Brandy and Ashley Vickery (via ABC13 "Sixty Passengers Hurt on Galveston-Based Cruise Ship") 

Video interview of passengers  Galveston County Daily

Carnival Passengers Frightened As Ecstasy Cruise Ship Lists During Emergency Maneuver

KBTX in Texas reports that as Carnival's Ecstasy cruise ship was returning to port in Galveston, the cruise ship listed heavily in order to avoid hitting a buoy which had come loose in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Carnival claims that the buoy was mostly submerged and not detected by radar.

According to a passenger, "the ship was shuddering .  .  .  that's when all the dishes were coming out. It was a mess, it looked like a food fight and that's when everybody jumped up screaming and running trying to get outside .  .  .  we thought we were going over. We really thought the whole ship was going to be tipped over." 

The listing was severe enough to cause water to pour out of the pool.  Carnival reported some injuries due to the incident.  The cruise line issued a statement stating:

Carnival sincerely apologizes for the distress and discomfort this occurrence has caused our guests. The safety, comfort and care of our guests and crew is our top priority." 

The Ecstasy is expected to return to Galveston today.

Update:

According to USA TODAY's Cruise Log, Carnival indicated that approximately 60 passengers were treated at the ship infirmary for injuries.    

 

 

April 23, 2010 UPDATE:  Did Carnival's Ecstasy Cruise Ship Almost Hit A Sand Bar?

 

Credits:            KBTX.com

Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Ships Collide in Cozumel

In a prior article, I discussed how cruise lines can report on breaking news by using social media applications like Twitter and Twitpic and manage their reputations in the process.

Twitter was the first to report the collision between Carnival and Royal Caribbean's cruise ships at port in Cozumel. Neither Carnival nor Royal Caribbean used their Twitter pages.

Instead, Carnival employee @Dan85Poindexter was the first person to tweet that Carnival's Legend collided with Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas in Cozumel after the Legend's mooring lines were released.

Apparently, strong winds pushed Carnival's Legend into the Enchantment, causing relatively minor damage.  Some have characterized the incident as the two cruise ships "trading paint."

Another person on Twitter @enchantedtravel reported on Twitter: "RCCL damage not severe, no tears in hull, and have left for Belize City. Unsure re Legend." She then posted three photos of the collision: http://twitpic.com/jsnyw  http://twitpic.com/jso07 http://twitpic.com/jso18

In addition to the tweeting passengers, a resourceful passenger uploaded his video of the Carnival - Royal Caribbean collision to YouTube.  One of the passengers on the video is heard criticizing the Captain of the Carnival cruise ship: "you have the whole f - - - ing ocean to park on!"

It should be obvious to anyone with a computer that breaking news will no longer be covered first by newspapers or the conventional media, but by citizen journalists, iPhone photographers and YouTube videographers.

 

 

Its nice to see the Twitpics and YouTube videos for yourself rather than having to rely on cruise line press statements and the usual spin.

 

Photo credit: @enchantedtravel

Video credit: hedojake (via YouTube)