Collision in Cozumel
September 30, 2009
Update Thursday 8:12 pm: At the end of John Healds blog are thease pics taken by the Carnival’s port agent.
Update Thursday 6:11pm: This courtesy of the John Heald Blog. John Helad is Carnival’s senior cruise director and has a very popular blog. How he has the time to write such intensive blog posts I haven’t the slightest clue. Anyways, here is what he has to say (I know its alot):
Here I am sure many of you have already read about the incident yesterday as the Carnival Legend left Cozumel …………. and I am sure that one or two of the reports may be a little …………. ummmm ………fictional……..so as I was there from beginning to end…………..I thought you might like to know exactly what happened. So, grab a cup of tea, take a seat and let us begin.
And we start with the only humorous part of this event and it really is true because I got a call from the Cruise Director Jen around 6:10pm and when she called…………….guess what ………… yep……………I was in my cabin…………in my underpants.
Anyway, Jen told me that I should come to the bridge as we were experiencing problems. Luckily my cabin is on deck 8 so I had a short walk and as soon as I arrived I could see what the problem was. The first thing that struck me was how angry the sky was. I had been on my balcony an hour or so ago and the sky was blue and the sun was as hot as Megan Fox’s bottom.
But now…….oh my goodness how things had suddenly and dramatically changed. It was noisy, dark and horrific. I could hear the thumping of rain crashing down against the ship and the wind was howling as though hundreds of wolves were outside baying for our blood. The sky was as dark as an Ed Wood movie and the sea, even within the protection of the harbor looked like it had been given the good news with a huge egg whisk……….. And was full of foreboding swells.
And the result of all this weather was that we were getting closer and closer to the Enchantment of the Seas which was docked in Cozumel on the opposite pier.
The captain was fighting the 50 knot winds with all his might using the thrusters and engines at full power. He was calm……….but at the same time you clearly see the look of concern and anguish in his eyes as he battled the elements. But I think he knew that this was one battle he wasn’t going to win and so he told Jen to make an announcement top have all the guests standing on the port side open decks and balconies to leave the area immediately and head back inside or to the middle or starboard side of the vessel………Jen made this announcement calmly and clearly and it’s a good thing she did………….because moments later we touched……not Jen and I…………I mean the Carnival Legend touched the Enchantment of the Seas.
And it was a touch, a brush, a tickle. The words collision or hit or crash don’t describe what happened at all. There was no bang or jolt, just a ………what’s a good word for it?………I know………a shudder or a shiver. The first thing I noticed was the look of anguish in the captain’s eyes and one repeated on the faces of all the officers on the bridge. But the captain continued the battle against the wind and managed to push us away again from the RCI ship. At this point it was hard to distinguish between the flashes of lightning that shot angrily out of the sky and the flashes of hundreds of cameras as guests on both ships recorded this incident for prosperity, for Facebook, twitter and YouTube.
At this point I wanted to grab the mic and talk to the guests on the PA system but it was not my ship so I gently suggested to Jen that she make another announcement repeating the request for guests to move away from the port side in case we touched again………not Jen and I……….the two ships……….and to just talk to the guests, keep them calm and informed. In moments like this there is no such thing as too many announcements and the one voice they want to hear from is the cruise director, it’s a voice the guests recognize and hopefully trust.
Well, after 20 more minutes of high winds the captain managed to reverse us away from the pier to a distance of maybe 1,000 meters from both the RCI ship and our sister ship Carnival Imagination which was also docked in Cozumel.
There was much relief all around……….and now the inspections began to discover what damage had been done. First of all I suggested to Jen that she make an announcement telling guests that all was well and that we were going to stop here so the ship’s command could assess the situation. She did…….and once again she did so calmly and professionally. I also suggested that she get as many of her Entertainment Staff out and about as possible in case guests had concerns or questions.
During the next 20 minutes the reports began to filter back to us on the bridge. Mr. Guna, the hotel director, had mobilized all of his management superbly and the first news was the best news because after checking a few times with the ship’s medical center there were no serious injuries ………the medical center was quiet.
Well, the damage could have been a lot worse. There is lots of broken glass on deck 3 port side where the ships “met” and we also have a bent railing and one damaged life raft. There is also broken glass in the guest relations back office but amazingly no damage at all to guest cabins or entertainment areas. The life raft has already been replaced as we of course always sail with extras and the ship’s crew is already starting to replace the broken glass.
As for the RCI ship……well…she sailed away from Cozumel on time…….the two captains spoke as did the bearded Safety Managers from both companies and I am sure apologies and fruit baskets were sent by Carnival to RCI.
For about two hours we inspected the damage and a pilot boat from the Cozumel sailed around us looking to see if there was any structural damage to the Carnival Legend. Then, after the inspections were completed and permission given by the Mexican authorities the ship sailed to Belize from where I am writing this blog to you now. Today, we will be joined by a safety team from Carnival Cruise Lines and a Lloyd’s inspector who together will give a thorough inspection of the vessel.
Update Thursday: Here are two pics of the minor damage. I can’t source since these have been passed around like crazy this morning.
The picture above to the right make me more concerned not with the ship-ship collision. I’m more concerned with the possible ship-pier allision. Especially if its right near the waterline.
Nothing serious here but according to a passenger from one of the ships, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas and the Carnival Legend ‘brushed’ up against one another. No serious damage, no one hurt. Both ships will call upon their next port as scheduled. If pictures surface I’ll post.