Posted on | June 29, 2015 | 1 Comment
It is hard to think of an accident with a greater potential for serious loss of life than a collision involving a passenger ship and a tanker. The Dona Paz- Vector collision which killed 4386 people in 1987 was the world’s worst peacetime marine disaster and inevitably casts its terrible shadow over any incident involving these ship types.
So the collision in the Dardanelles between the cruise ship Celestyal Cristal and the naphtha laden STI Pimlico had the potential to be everyone’s worst nightmare, but there were no injuries aboard either ship, despite structural damage. The cruise vessel’s steeply raked bow sliced into the tanker’s port side top strake amidships, while photographs of the vessel also show a sizeable penetration below the V-shaped incision and damage to the deck equipment. It appears that the inner hull was penetrated, with some cargo loss, so the lack of any ignition and fire was, in the circumstances, providential. Maybe there was some useful celestial oversight.
The cruise ship, built originally for winter work in the Baltic and with an ice strengthened hull, appeared to have experienced a comparatively small amount of damage right on the bow, but sufficient for the operators to terminate the cruise and disembark their passengers. Hopefully, the sheer potential frightfulness of what might have resulted from their collision may not have occurred to them.