Source – A towering, out-of-control cruise ship rammed into a dock and a tourist riverboat on a busy Venice canal on Sunday morning, injuring five people, officials said. The collision sparked new calls for placing restrictions on cruise ships in the famed city.
The crash happened about 8:30 a.m. (0630 GMT) on the Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to St. Mark’s Square in the northeastern Italian city.
The MSC Opera cruise ship, apparently unable to stop, blared its horn as it slammed into the much smaller River Countess boat and the dock as dozens of people ran away in panic. In videos of the crash, people were seen rushing to disembark from the moored riverboat over a short gangplank, and at least two people were left caught on the walkway as the vessel was dislodged from the pier.
The cruise ship’s owner, MSC Cruises, said the vessel was about to dock at a passenger terminal in Venice when it had a mechanical problem. Two tugboats guiding the cruise ship into Venice tried to stop the MSC Opera, but they were unable to prevent it from ramming into the riverboat.
I’ve always wondered how this type of stuff doesn’t happen more often. If you’ve ever tried to park a boat you know what I’m talking about. You basically just float up to the dock, kill the engine, then pray you don’t hit it too hard. Mayyybbe you chirp it in reverse if you’re coming in too hot, but other than that you’re at the mercy of the water. Obviously commercial cruise liners have much better technology than the eighteen-foot Boston Whaler I used to park, but the same principals apply. It’s on the water so it’s unpredictable. They say it crashed due to a ‘mechanical failure’, but who knows? They said that when the Costa Concordia ran aground and it turned out the captain was blowing lines off the dashboard.
I just feel bad for all the old people falling down trying to get away.
Local officials said five women aboard the riverboat were injured. They said one was released immediately from a hospital, while four others were advised to remain under medical care for a few days.
Earlier, medical authorities said four of the women — an American, a New Zealander and two Australians between the ages of 67 and 72 — were injured falling or trying to run away when the cruise ship rammed into the River Countess.
Talk about a nightmare scenario. You see a five-story cruise ship crawling towards you but you’re even slower than the ship so you fall down like one of those mountain goats that passes out when they get scared. I do the same thing when I see people dancing at a wedding. Add this to the list of reasons never to take a cruise vacation.
Regardless, they want to ban cruise ships from Venice because of this. Which doesn’t matter because the city will be underwater by the time they get it passed anyway.