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MSC Opera Crashes into Riverboat in Venice

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, MBP&O2/O said:

 

(2) Both anchors appeared to be fully housed in the hawse pipe? Not that they would have had much chance to use them but we used to walk one anchor out as a contingency ... all you had to do was release the brake and away it went ... 

Interesting outcome to this one me thinks😀

It appears in some of the photos that the port side anchor chain is draped over the smaller ship. Not sure if it was yanked from its position or if it had in fact dropped, but wasn't able to stop the ship fast enough. 

Edited by DerekB

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The Venice Port Authority requires that all cruise ships docking in Venice have tugboat assistance while entering the city. Reports state that a tugboat line either broke or became loose causing the ship to come into the dock area too fast. Thankfully the ship didn’t hit the pier dead center or the damage would have been more extensive.

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1 minute ago, Corby114 said:

The Venice Port Authority requires that all cruise ships docking in Venice have tugboat assistance while entering the city. Reports state that a tugboat line either broke or became loose causing the ship to come into the dock area too fast. Thankfully the ship didn’t hit the pier dead center or the damage would have been more extensive.

 

So the investigation is completed, then?

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Didn’t read anything about a current investigation but I do know and remember years ago that the city of Venice was concerned that increased cruise ship traffic in their city was doing damage to many of the homes and businesses.Because of that fact all cruise ships visiting the city were required by law to have tugboat assistance when entering and leaving the city. I have personally cruised from Venice three times in the last ten years and remember that when leaving the dock area at least one or two tugboats escorted us out of the city until we reached the Adriatic Sea. When returning to Venice at least one tugboat would have a line attached to the aft of the ship. This is done to hold the ship in place while traveling in the canal and also to keep the ships speed in check during the docking procedure.

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Wow.

 

Saw it on the news and quickly to CruiseCritic; best source of information.  Thanks all for the videos.  There are couple of long time posters with extensive cruise ship experience and knowledge and hopefully they will weigh in at some point.

 

To the layman, avid cruiser, it almost looks like (1) they signaled the river boat to evacuate; (2) the cruise ship appears to have intended to wedge the bow between the pier and the river boat; and (3) that they couldn't get the river boat lines off the pier but the ships crew was letting line out as fast as possible.

 

Just a WAG.

 

Thanks for all the information and videos.

 

YIKES.  

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To reduce cruise ship traffic in and out of Venice the Italian Government is currently building a new state of the art cruise ship terminal in Mestre which is on the Italian mainline, just outside of Venice.

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The terminal in Mestre is by no means a "done deal" and already the various factions of the Italian government (local and national) are arguing trying to use this incident to back their perspective.  The coverage in La Repubblica was about one third on the accident and two thirds on the politics, only hours after it happened.

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For those who say the pilot is only advisory, this is not quite correct.  The Captain never relinquishes his/her responsibility for the vessel, but he/she does relinquish the authority to command the vessel to the pilot.  The Captain gives the pilot "the conn" meaning the authority to give commands to the bridge team (officers and crew) for them to control the propulsion and steering of the ship.  The Captain's responsibility allows him to rescind the authority of the pilot to command the maneuvers of the ship.  The Captain relinquishes the authority to maneuver the ship every single day, to his/her bridge officers while he/she is not on the bridge, and many times even while the Captain is on the bridge, the watch officer will retain "the conn".  The authority of the conn is given by the Captain based on his/her trust and faith in the officer it is given to, or the fact that the pilot is a local expert.  Only when the Captain states "I have the conn" are his commands taken over those of the bridge officers, this was one of the many problems on the Concordia, when the Captain started giving commands without having taken the conn.

 

As the Opera has azipods, I assume that a "locked" engine means that the pod would not azimuth around to provide astern power to stop the ship.

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After looking at the video this unbelievable!

All cruise ships must have a pilot aboard.  Yes, the captain assumes overall control the ship taking while instruction from the pilot.  The cruise speeds in the waterway are under strict speed limits.  We have been to Vince twice with our ship always were under control.  I’m not an expert but the speed MSC Opera looked way to fast.  The captain indicated the engine control was not working.  I’m having a hard time to believe that statement.  Hopefully, the engine control problem is true.  This would explain what happen.  Only a maritime inquire will determine the root cause.  The pilot and captain certification will certainly come under maritime review.  Local authorities will not take this incident lightly.  Also, you have two (2) tugs helping maneuver in the waterway and you can’t control the cruise ship.  Wow!   

The new cruise terminal will help local authorizes push to close the canal to all cruise ships (regardless of tonnage) only using the new terminal.

 

John

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I am still surprised that the tug boats couldn't help to either bring the ship to a complete stop or at least push/pull it far enough away from the pier to get more time to slow it down. 

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Daughter just told us ship will not leave Venice tonight.

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22 minutes ago, JimVB said:

Daughter just told us ship will not leave Venice tonight.

 

Has the ship moved to the regular port area?

If so, when were people allowed to disembark?

 

I'm still worried about the few people who appeared to fall into the water as the MSC Opera was bearing down between the riverboat and that dock area.

Any news?  Is *everyone* truly accounted for?

 

Thanks.


GC

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Ship is at cruise terminal, our daughter got off around 1500. She says the bars are free and free shuttles to San Marcos this evening.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Has the ship moved to the regular port area?

If so, when were people allowed to disembark?

 

I'm still worried about the few people who appeared to fall into the water as the MSC Opera was bearing down between the riverboat and that dock area.

Any news?  Is *everyone* truly accounted for?

 

Thanks.


GC

Apparently thankfully no deaths

See Post 

Edited by Pennbank

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6 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Has the ship moved to the regular port area?

If so, when were people allowed to disembark?

 

Yes, the MSC Opera is docked at Stazione Marittima since a couple of hours now and people disembarked.

 

According to Uniworld 4 passengers were injured. There´s also a report that one person onboard the MSC Opera has been injured.

 

steamboats

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7 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Has the ship moved to the regular port area?

If so, when were people allowed to disembark?

 

I'm still worried about the few people who appeared to fall into the water as the MSC Opera was bearing down between the riverboat and that dock area.

Any news?  Is *everyone* truly accounted for?

 

Thanks.


GC

 

Yes she's back at normal port area with a tanker by her side.


image.png.273c293507a427a240d1c4fa3adf0865.png

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Cheng ... Long time no see, good to see that you are once again educating people regarding ship commands.

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1 hour ago, John99 said:

After looking at the video this unbelievable!

All cruise ships must have a pilot aboard.  Yes, the captain assumes overall control the ship taking while instruction from the pilot.  The cruise speeds in the waterway are under strict speed limits.  We have been to Vince twice with our ship always were under control.  I’m not an expert but the speed MSC Opera looked way to fast.  The captain indicated the engine control was not working.  I’m having a hard time to believe that statement.  Hopefully, the engine control problem is true.  This would explain what happen.  Only a maritime inquire will determine the root cause.  The pilot and captain certification will certainly come under maritime review.  Local authorities will not take this incident lightly.  Also, you have two (2) tugs helping maneuver in the waterway and you can’t control the cruise ship.  Wow!   

The new cruise terminal will help local authorizes push to close the canal to all cruise ships (regardless of tonnage) only using the new terminal.

 

John

What is so hard to believe that the engine controls were not working?  Failures can happen.  It could also be that the Captain was attempting to control the azipods from the bridge wing control station, but had not "taken command" at that station (only one station at a time can control the pods, either bridge wing, or the center console, and to gain control you have to "take command").  The Captain's and pilot's certifications will not come under review, unless it is by the flag state of the ship, not the port state where the incident happened.  The flag state issues a license that the mariner is competent as per the IMO's STCW (Standards of Training, Competency and Watchkeepin) convention, and all signatory nations agree that this is a valid certificate.  Now, their decisions may come under scrutiny, but not their certificates.

 

For those who think a tug boat can stop a cruise ship, the MSC Opera weighs probably 25-30,000 tons (not gross tonnage, which isn't weight, but displacement which is), and the largest tugboat in the world has achieved 423 metric tons bollard pull.  So, two tugs, even if pulling completely in the direction to stop a ship, and they were the largest in the world, would contribute less than 900 metric tons of pull against the momentum of 25-30,000 tons of ship.  No, a tug boat cannot stop a ship, except over a very long distance.  And, then the lines the tugs are using, whether synthetic or wire, if it was an unwieldy 2" (wire) or 4" (synthetic),  would have a breaking strength of less than 300 tons.

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19 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

What is so hard to believe that the engine controls were not working?  Failures can happen.  It could also be that the Captain was attempting to control the azipods from the bridge wing control station, but had not "taken command" at that station (only one station at a time can control the pods, either bridge wing, or the center console, and to gain control you have to "take command").  The Captain's and pilot's certifications will not come under review, unless it is by the flag state of the ship, not the port state where the incident happened.  The flag state issues a license that the mariner is competent as per the IMO's STCW (Standards of Training, Competency and Watchkeepin) convention, and all signatory nations agree that this is a valid certificate.  Now, their decisions may come under scrutiny, but not their certificates.

 

For those who think a tug boat can stop a cruise ship, the MSC Opera weighs probably 25-30,000 tons (not gross tonnage, which isn't weight, but displacement which is), and the largest tugboat in the world has achieved 423 metric tons bollard pull.  So, two tugs, even if pulling completely in the direction to stop a ship, and they were the largest in the world, would contribute less than 900 metric tons of pull against the momentum of 25-30,000 tons of ship.  No, a tug boat cannot stop a ship, except over a very long distance.  And, then the lines the tugs are using, whether synthetic or wire, if it was an unwieldy 2" (wire) or 4" (synthetic),  would have a breaking strength of less than 300 tons.

I know from all your previous posts that you are very knowledgeable, can you comment on the MSC  suggestion that the ship would sail by tomorrow, if this is a mechanical problem will a full check out and fix/ testing not be required before sailing on. Thanks for any info/ suggestions you can give us.

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4 hours ago, bobstheboy said:

The Captain or Master is always in charge. Pilots are experts who advise.

Correct but with, I believe, one exception.

 

The exception is the Panama Canal where the pilot is in charge and the Captain assists in an advisory capacity.

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It was reported on Facebook page 25 mins ago that Opera has been embarking passengers and will sail tonight as no damage.

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Posted (edited)

Current positions at marittima

 

enhance

 

enhance

Edited by Essiesmom

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43 minutes ago, cruiser man 60 said:

It was reported on Facebook page 25 mins ago that Opera has been embarking passengers and will sail tonight as no damage. 

Our daughter, who is on the cruise, has been told they are not leaving Venice tonight.  The prior guidance was a delayed 2000 departure.

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5 hours ago, Fredric22 said:

Ships are usually in command of the local pilots while docking and leaving port.  I am not saying this excuses any kind of mechanical issues, but the local pilot is always on the bridge during these times and is actually the person in charge. 

 

Uhh...  NO.

 

Except for the Panama Canal, pilots may have the "con", but never the "charge" of

the ship.  The Master of the vessel has the right and duty to override a local pilot.

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Pilots do not touch any of the controls they give verbal commands and tell the  captain about port conditions and tide 

The only place a Pilot touch’s  the controls is going through the Panama Canal 

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