Transport Minister On Norwegian Star Incident

September 14, 2012

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.

Two airplanes had to divert away from their first attempt at landing due to the high winds, and passengers on one flight had to wait for 45 minutes to disembark due to the risk of lightning.

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Comments (23)

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  1. just a thought says:

    Weather guys, went sleep today.. Sorry we still love yo

  2. Anonymouse13 says:

    So what happened Norwegian Star ?
    I don’t know, all of a sudden this boat came of of nowhere and hit me in the ass.

  3. Oyeah says:

    Worse weather than Leslie what’s up?

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    Could not have been that bad. The buses were running & everyone in Government stayed put. The Government schools did not close.

  5. Mat says:

    bloody hell…

  6. Just One says:

    That’s a big a$$ boat!

  7. Victor says:

    Did the ship break away from the pier or was it the pier that broke away (as happened last year due to shoddy construction)?

    • hmmm says:

      You guys always trying to make it political aren’t u?!

      • Vulpes says:

        A question of fact; please explain what makes it political in your opinion?

        • Suzanne says:

          AGREED. But we did hear of the “stories” about the design flaws in the building of the dock, the wind problems with the area and of course how the person who recommmended a different formation of the wharf was fired because his wasnt a popular idea or inexpensive. Seems it turns out its probably not “shoddy constuction” but more of a possible cost saving decision to have built it as it is. Shame.

    • ds says:

      We were on the Explorer when the accident happened and saw the whole thing. The ropes snapped. Dock was fine. The Explorer from the start had many more ropes securing the ship. I recall noticing that on Wed when we docked

  8. Oyeah says:

    The big whip woke away from the dock

  9. mixitup says:

    I thought the Norwegian Breakaway was scheduled for next year?

  10. Suzanne says:

    Sorry, folks,but I WAS ON THE STAR and saw the entire incident. Star broke mooring ropes, pulled off some metal railings, floated into the sound and definitely hit the RC Seas ship. Damage was as it shows in the photos. Maybe it didnt seem that bad on shore, but onship it was a spectacle to watch! Rained so hard and wind was amazing! Glad we decided to come back early to the ship as those returning during the storm mustve wondered why we were leaving so early! Heard, saw and felt the hit. We were all pacified by NCL by captain declaring open bar for free Rum Swizzles…certainly gave us cruisers something to talk about. We did hear about the political story of the refusal to build the dock safer…but NCL couldve used a bit more mooring ropes too!

  11. Gloria Green says:

    That ship was not secured properly in the first place and they lied to the passengers about what happened! You can’t suppress the incompetence of the bridge with free drinks. And most importantly, passengers were at risk of serious injury as the gang way collapsed behind their step onto the ship. I was there and know exactly what actually occurred, this captain and the bridge crew must be investigated.

  12. pamela says:

    It was wild to return to the dock and find the ship not where it was suppost to be. at least we had a 2 hour open bar with rum punch once we were able to get on board.

  13. bill says:

    Really…. things happen… life goes on….. it was a great vacation…. great crew…. good food…. so we had a hiccup…… life is that way….. we are blessed no one got hurt…. no one knew the storm would be that strong or fast. If you want to hand out blame blame God… he caused the storm…. as for me….. I would much rather thank him for safety….. but it’s your call…

  14. Paula says:

    I was on the RC Explorer Of the Seas and reading this I’m a little disturbed that we didn’t even get one free drink. We were hit hard enough to jolt the entire ship and our departure was delayed by an hour. Not to mention the fact of worrying the entire trip back that there may have been some damage that could have effected us in the middle of the ocean. Thanks RC.

  15. Steve says:

    Ok…. lets get serious for a second here. First of all, based on the information, it does seem that the lines were not properly tied from the NCL ship. They should have had more lines when they knew of possible high winds. The Capt of NCL chose to offer free drinks because he felt that would lesson the blow to their guests.
    But…. @Paula being disturbed that the EX didnt offer anything and that you had ‘concern’ for the safety of the ship going back to Bayonne….. GET A LIFE! You’re probably the type that would complain if you were on a cruise and someone went overboard – causing the ship to miss a port. FREE FREE FREE….. PLEASE!!!!!!!
    Be thankful that there were no injuries on either ship and that the ships were seaworthy. Maybe you should fly and bring drink coupons with ya!!