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

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)

 

Thomas Aquinas Ferry Collides with MV Sulpicio Express Cargo Ship: Hundreds of Passengers Missing

A maritime disaster is unfolding in the Philippines after the passenger ferry MV Thomas Aquinas sank after colliding with a large cargo ship, the MV Sulpicio Express, near the port of Cebu. 

The ferry was carrying 752 passengers, including children and infants, and 118 crew members. 

More than 200 people are missing after passengers were forced to jump into the water. Some managed to get into life rafts but many others were trapped into the ferry as it sank. Divers are combing through the sunken ferry, which rests at around 100 feet underwater, to retrieve the bodies of the missing. 629 people were rescued.

BBC News reports that maritime accidents are common in the Philippine waters because of badly maintained passenger vessels and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

The world's worst maritime disaster occurred in the Philippines in December 1987 when more than 4,000 people died after the Dona Paz ferry collided with a tanker and sank.

Photo Credit: Reuters (top) / Reuters (bottom)

Sulpicio Express - Thomas Aquinas Collision

Thomas Aquinas - Sulpicio Express

Cruise Lines Feel the Heat: Congressional Legislation Introduced After Over 60 Cruise Ship Fires from 2009 through 2013

Cruise Ship FiresNews Channel 12 WPRI in East Providence, Rhode Island aired a broadcast today about Senator Rockefeller's newly introduced consumer legislation designed to require the cruise industry to report serious crimes which occur on the high seas.

Channel 12 says that "In the wake of recent horror stories on the high seas, lawmakers have introduced a key bill that could help the estimated 21-million Americans expected to set sail on a cruise ship this year."

Cruise executives boast that cruising is safe and that the cruise lines transparently report all crimes at sea. Unfortunately that's not true. 

The news station states that "over the last five years, there have been 63 fires on board cruise ships and a total of 44 cruise related collisions."  I checked the actual data at the website of cruise expert Ross Klein and noted that there were actually 61 cruise fires and 52 collisions / allisons during the time period in question.

Among other key provisions introduced by Senator Rockefeller, the proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act would create a toll-free hotline for consumer complaints, and provide passengers a clear summary of the onerous terms and conditions of the cruise passenger contracts.

Watch the video below. 

CFA: Cruise ship safety improvements

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

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.   

LPG Tanker - Ferry Collision Leaves 8 Passengers Dead

Bahuga Jaya SinkingEight passengers from the cruise ferry Bahuga Jaya are reported dead after a collision in Indonesian waters.

The LPG tanker Norgas Cathinka struck and sank the Bahuga Jaya, which is a Ro-Ro passenger cruise ferry vessel, near the port of Merak, Indonesia. 

The accident took place on Wednesday. Eight passengers on the cruise ferry were initially reported missing. Seven bodies were located and one passenger was found still alive but later died in the hospital.

The large LPG tanker is operated by IM Skaugen Group member Norgas Carriers Pte Ltd of Singapore.

September 29, 2012 Update: Vessl Tracker has this information:

"30 people were still missing on Sep 28, two days after the sinking of the 2Jaya Bugha" with more than two hundred people on board off Sumatra. Eight bodies have been recovered so far, while 207 people have been rescued. The number of passengers and crew was not accurately known. 30 people were reported missing by relatives. The possibility that they survived was very low. The ferry was carrying about 78 vehicles in which passengers might have remained trapped."

 

 

Photo credit: Harian Terbit

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? 

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  

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  

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
 

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 Europa Collides With Pier in Egypt - Three Crew Dead, Passengers Injured

Newspapers are reporting that the Costa Europa cruise ship collided with a pier in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt yesterday.  The collision ripped a hole in the hull of the ship and flooded a crew cabin, resulting in the death of three crew member who, unidentified, are described as "an Indian, a Honduran and a Brazilian."  (Technically speaking, when a vessel strikes a pier, it is called an "allision" - "collisions" occur between vessels). 

Costa Europa Collision - Egypt - Passenger and Crew Injury and DeathFour other people were injured.  Some reports indicate that another crewmember and three British women passengers were injured.  Other newspapers say that four passengers were injured. 

Pursuant to the terms of the passenger's cruise tickets, if the passengers need to make a claim for medical expneses and compensation, they are required to make their claim in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Cruise line officials are quoted as saying that "strong winds" pushed the cruise into a pier as it tried to dock at the port.

It seems that every time a cruise ship hits a dock, the cruise lines blame it on the wind as opposed to poor seamanship at the helm.   

The cruise ship was sailing on an 18-day cruise from Dubai to Savona.

The photographs of the Costa Europe show the vessel listing heavily on its port side, in order to keep water ouring into the large opening on the starboard side. 

A photograph of the extensive damage to the crew quarters in shown is an article in the U.K. Sun newspaperCosta Europa - Damage to Crew Cabin - Collision

The passengers were disembarked, and Costa Crociere is arranging for them to be flown back to their countries of origin.

 

Credits:

 

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

Damage to crew cabin of  Costa Europa - U.K. Sun Newspaper