The Norwegian Star made contact with the the Explorer of the Seas when it broke its moorings, however there is minimal damage to the Star and none to the Heritage Wharf, Transport Minister Walter Roban said this evening [Sept 14].
The cruise ship Norwegian Star is now on its way back to the USA after breaking away its moorings due to gale force winds just past 2pm today. With a local tug standing by, the Norwegian Star undocked for departure from Bermuda at 6:45pm local time and is now proceeding down channel.
The Norwegian Star was docked next to the Explorer of the Seas in Dockyard, and the two ships collided when the Star broke its moorings as gale force winds hammered the island this afternoon. Marine & Ports boats were tasked to attend the scene to provide assistance, and the vessel was all secure at approximately 2:45pm.
Minister of Transport Walter Roban said: “Shortly after 2:00pm the Norwegian Star that was berthed portside at Heritage Wharf in Dockyard with its bow facing east had two mooring headlines broken as a severe squall with thunderstorm moved through the Dockyard area. This resulted in the vessel coming away from the berth and its bow swinging into the Great Sound.
“Fortunately Marine & Ports personnel based in Dockyard witnessed this incident as it began to unfold and were able to very quickly deploy the Government line boat “Inspector” and the tugboats Powerful & Faithful that arrived at the Norwegian Star to assist in short time,” continued Minister Roban.
“At 2:04 pm the Norwegian Star called Bermuda Radio and requested immediate tug boat assistance and reported it had broken mooring lines. The Commissioner’s Point weather reporting station showed 45 knots of wind.
“At 2:06 pm anchors were dropped by the Norwegian Star and at 2:13 pm the ship confirmed the bow thrusters were operational and two anchors were lowered. At 2:26 pm communications were established between the tugs and the Norwegian Star.
Minister Roban continued: “The local Branch Pilot Anthony Robinson assigned to Pilot the Explorer of the Seas was enroute to Dockyard on the Tender Bermudian and he was transferred to the Norwegian Star to assist with the operation.
“The line boat was used to retrieve the broken lines from the water and the tug boats assisted in returning the vessel to the berth. The vessel was all secure at approximately 2:45 pm.
“The stern of Norwegian Star did make contact with the stern of the Explorer of the Seas that was berthed at King’s Wharf and the damage is considered to be minimal.
“Divers were also put in the water to inspect the Norwegian Star hull and its Azipod propulsion units and no damages were reported. An initial inspection of Heritage Wharf has been completed and there is no damage to report,” concluded Minister Roban.
A NCL spokesperson said: “At approximately 1:30pm ET today, a high wind squall caused Norwegian Star’s aft mooring lines to break while the ship was docked in Bermuda. There were no injuries, and after a short time of being at anchor, the ship re-docked alongside at the pier.
“Norwegian Star is on a seven-day cruise to Bermuda that departed New York on Sunday, September 9. At this time, the ship is expected to depart Bermuda as scheduled today.”
Earlier this afternoon, Bermuda Weather Service meteorologist Michelle T. Pitcher explained that the forecast for today called for rain showers with a risk of thunder.
The low unexpectedly intensified as it was passing by our south and a very active thunderstorm cell passed directly over the Island from approximately 2-3pm producing the gale force winds.
The passing of the weather system this afternoon also caused extensive flooding throughout the island, with interiors of multiple businesses affected and numerous roads flooding out.
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Articles that link to this one:
- Videos: Weather Affects Cruise Ship, Flooding | Bernews.com | September 14, 2012
- Cruise Ship Incident Being ‘Fully Investigated’ | Bernews.com | September 17, 2012
- Video: Norwegian Star Cruise Ship Incident | Bernews.com | September 19, 2012