A near disaster unfolded early this morning when the Celestyal Crystal, a cruise ship operated by Celestyal Cruises, collided with the STI Pimlico fuel tanker, according to the Turkish publication, SeaNews.
The tanker was filled with a cargo of extremely volatile naphtha (flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture). The cruise ship’s bow struck the midsection of the tanker and both vessels sustained heavy damage. One of the cargo tanks with the fuel exploded. The tanker leaked fuel into the water and began to list.
The collision took place in the Dardanelles straits off of the coast of Turkey.
The passengers and crew totaling approximately 1200 people had to evacuate the ship and be ferried to nearby Gallipoli.
You can see a video of the vessels after the collision on our Facebook page.
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June 29 2015 Update: CruiseArabiaOnLine reports that "a passenger aboard Celestyal Crystal (said) that the collision with the oil tanker off Turkey felt like an ‘explosion’ and said passengers were thrown off their feet by the impact. It felt as though something has exploded at the front of the ship,” he said. “The ship shuddered and a horrible crunching, grinding noise reverberated right through the ship. I was convinced we would sink.”
Photo Credit: Жизнь в Резервации Twitter via Travel Pulse