NTSB cites master's actions in $1 million dock accident


The following is text of a news release from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — About 1400 on June 3, 2016, the Malta-flag cruise ship Celebrity Infinity allided with berth No. 3 in Ketchikan, Alaska. No one was injured and no pollution occurred. The vessel sustained a 9-inch-diameter hole on the forward port side, about 12 feet above the waterline. The berth suffered extensive damage to the catwalks and pilings. The cost of repairs was about $1.15 million.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of Celebrity Infinity’s allision with the dock was the master’s failure to plan, monitor, and execute a safe docking evolution.

Excerpt from report

The pilot told investigators that dropping the starboard anchor slowed the motion of the bow toward the pier. The master said that he then ordered chain to be paid out so the vessel could move forward and toward the dock, but the VDR recording captured the master’s order as “hold the anchor.” According to the pilot, the thrusters and anchor were able to control the bow but “whatever maneuvers they made with the pods weren’t sufficient to hold the ship and it made a hard landing on the dolphins back there.” At 1355, with the after part of the vessel pivoting toward berth No. 3, the VDR recorded someone shouting, “the stern, the stern!” and, at 1356, the vessel allided with the berth. The force of the allision opened a 9-inch-diameter hole in the vessel’s port side between frames 231 and 233, about 12 feet above the waterline. It also caused the deflection of vessel structural members. The berth suffered extensive damage to its catwalks and structural members. Damage to the berth and vessel was estimated at $1,153,738.

Click here to read the complete report.

By Professional Mariner Staff