Cruise ship strikes barge

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship had a sudden collision with a barge moored off the shores of George Town Tuesday morning because of a strong squall of wind.

Port Security Officer Roy Lee confirmed that at 10.30 am Tuesday morning the Enchantment of the Seas dragged its anchor 300 metres before it ran into a moored barge off Pageant Beach. The cruise ship had been anchored off shore from the Wharf Restaurant area.

Rough weather, which deteriorated very quickly, caused a gust of wind from the south to South East peak to 40 knots, said Mr. Lee.

Ships can maintain their position at anchor up to 25 knots, he explained, but the squall caused the anchor to be dragged north, sending it into the barge in a matter of about three minutes. ‘It hit the barge on the bow and swung around,’ he said. The stern of the cruise ship hit the barge.

No one was injured in the incident, he noted, but some passengers did feel a jolt as though the ship had suddenly gone aground.

At that point in the morning most of the passengers were off the ship, he said. The ship arrived in port over three hours earlier.

The bang resulted in two dents on the port side of the ship and a long 100-foot scrape.

The barge, which was moored, did not move after it had been struck by the ship.

The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry went aboard the ship and did a report on it following the incident, said Mr. Lee.

The anchor was pulled following the incident and the ship remained at engine for the rest of the afternoon, he said.

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