Coast Guard: One of cruise ship's azipods damaged in storm

Anthem Experience

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW YORK) — The storm-damaged cruise ship Anthem of the Seas returned to the Liberty Cruise Terminal in Bayonne, N.J., on Wednesday evening and continues to test the critical systems on board the vessel.

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bahamas Maritime Administration and other oversight organizations have been working closely with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and numerous technical specialists to ensure the ongoing repairs to the ship's equipment are functioning as designed.

While most damage was cosmetic, during the storm the port azipod, which is one component of the vessel’s propulsion system, burned out all four clutches. As a precaution, this azipod was shut down for the return voyage to Bayonne.

Technicians aboard the cruise ship are replacing the clutches on both the starboard and port azipods as a precaution. Repairs and subsequent testing of the azipods are still ongoing.

In addition, all critical safety and lifesaving systems are being tested by the vessel under the supervision of the Bahamas and the U.S. Coast Guard officials. These systems tests are being conducted to ensure that all equipment is functioning as designed.

Minor damage to the ship’s lifeboats is being addressed and thoroughly tested by the lifeboat manufacturer.

At this time all repairs appear to be on track and all systems tests are progressing satisfactorily.

However, if anything is discovered during testing, the Coast Guard captain of the port will not allow the ship to sail from Bayonne until both Coast Guard and Bahamas maritime authorities are satisfied. The vessel will not be cleared to leave the port until all safety of life at sea requirements are met.

The Coast Guard is also supporting the Bahamas Maritime Administration in an ongoing investigation that will help determine if there are any contributing causal factors or lessons learned from this event that could help prevent injuries or damage in the future.

Coast Guard officials conducting the investigation are being assisted by personnel from the National Transportation Safety Board. The ongoing investigation could take some time but should not delay the vessel’s scheduled departure.

By Professional Mariner Staff