The net is all “A twitter” with the news of collision of two Cruise Ships the Carnival Legend and Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas. The accident happened when the Legend had been untied from the dock in Cozumel and strong winds pushed it into the Enchantment of the Seas. Both ships sustained damage that including broken glass and damage to open deck areas. Cruise Blogger The One Bob reports “There was some crunching and breaking glass noises and the ship rocked to one side a little. It was such a slow crash that it was barely noticeable. We could see scraped paint on the other ship, Really, nobody was hurt and we’re waiting for the all-clear from the Harbor master to leave port.”
I wondered how often this thing type of incident to happens. I actually found several reports of ships “bumping” into each other. Most often it occurs in high winds and during the docking or departure process. Here are a few other examples:
May, 1991: Island Princess and Regent Sea collided while docking in Alaska.
August, 2007: Ocean Majesty and Thomson Spirit collide in Norway’s Geiranger Fjord
June, 2008: Costa Clasica ships and MSC Poesia collide in the port of Dubrovnik
July, 2008: Pulmatar ship formerly know as the Celebrity Zenith collides with Aegean Pearl
In all of these incidents damage was relatively minor and injuries ranged from none to minor.
One of the most tragic ship collisions happened in 1956 off the coast of New York when the SS Andrea Doria collided with the SS Stockholm in heavy fog. The Stockholm with its ice breaking bow hit the Adnrea Doria at almost 90 degrees. 46 passengers were killed on the Andrea Doria and 5 crew members of the Stockholm also died. In this incident, with a few exceptions, almost all of the passengers who were not killed in the immediate impact and aftermath, were successfully rescued. A friend of mine who was at the time a child immigrating from Italy with her family says the most terrifying aspect of the rescue was that she ended up somehow being separated from her mother for about 5 days until they were reunited. I remember when the movie Titanic came out in the 1990’s and everyone was going to see it over and over again she said to me “I don’t need to see that movie, I practically lived it.”
The differences between this kind of catastrophic collision and the “bumping” in port are generally pretty obvious. The in port collisions are most often side to side and cause by wind. The Stockholm and the Andrea Doria were both traveling at cruising speed and that accident was a bow into the side of the hull collision. Thankfully the recent incident was not a greater tragedy.