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.
According 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)