MSC Opera Tragedy
Lately, cruise tragedies have been making the news. Fires, collisions and mechanical problems contrast with what most passengers consider a fun and safe holiday.
A Tragic Event
In Venice, the large MSC Opera, heading into port with the assistance of two tug boats, blasted its horns to warn of its impending collision course while attempting to dock on the Giudecca Canal wharf. The incredible video footage looks like something from a Hollywood disaster film as the cruise ship rams first into the wharf and then next into the Uniworld River Countess, which is already alongside.
At 15 seconds, it appears that a few passengers try to escape from The River Countess and plunge into the water. The camera pans away making it impossible to see what happened to these passengers. Later reports stated that five people suffered injuries.
An Attempt to Avoid Damage and Death
In another video, it appears that the tugboats attempt to slow the wayward Opera, if the amount of black smoke emitting from their stacks is any indication of the effort exerted to prevent an accident. Other videos show the Opera hitting the pier and moving the River Countess away. From the full view of the accident as it was happening, this seems like quick thinking on the captain’s part as otherwise River Countess could have been pleated like an accordian into the boat docked in front of it.
Accidents like this support the ban of large ships in ports like this one in Venice.
Several of the news bureaux, including NPR, posted stories. Oddly enough, most of these stories refer to River Countess as a tourist boat. One even refers to MSC Opera as a boat. The headlines implied that the ship hit one of those tourist boars that offer a cruise of a few hours. Not sure if Uniworld considers the River Countess a tourist boat.
Semantics aside, Essential Cruising hopes that the injured experience a quick recovery.