Transport Malta has issued an interim safety investigation report into the allision between the Maltese flag ‘Carnival Legend’ (pictured) and the Panamanian flag ‘Carnival Glory’ at Cozumel, Mexico on 20th December, 2019.
On 20th December, 2019 at about 08.46 local time, whilst ‘Carnival Legend’ was berthed at Puerto Maya pier No. 1, ‘Carnival Glory’ was manoeuvring into the port.
‘Carnival Glory’ was approaching pier No. 2, when her starboard quarter allided with ‘Carnival Legend’s’ bow. The latter sustained scratches and indentation to her port bow. No injuries were reported to have occurred on the Maltese-registered vessel.
On board ‘Carnival Glory’, the allision affected the aft guest lounge where guests were present at the time. Six guests suffered injuries, with one requiring hospital treatment. The ship sustained structural damage to her starboard quarter, in way of the aft guest lounge.
The ‘Carnival Legend’s’ minimum safe manning certificate stipulated a crew of 20. At the time of the accident, there were 919 crew members, of various nationalities, on board.
The Master was a 61-year old Italian national. He had a total of 39 years of seafaring experience, 23 of which were served in the rank of a master. He held STCW1 II/2 qualifications for a Master and his most recent Certificate of Competency was issued by the Italian authorities in August, 2019.
The Staff Captain was a 38-year old also of Italian nationality. He had 15 years of seafaring experience, three of which were served as a Staff Captain with Carnival.
He held STCW II/2 qualifications for a Master and his most recent Certificate of Competency was issued by the Italian Authorities in August, 2019.
The third officer (OOW), who was on duty on the bridge at the time of incident, was a 24-year old Italian national. He had four years of seafaring experience, one of which served as a Third Officer with the company. He held STCW II/1 qualifications and his Certificate of Competency was issued by the Italian authorities in December, 2018.
At the time of the accident, ‘Carnival Glory’s’ bridge was reportedly manned by the Master, Staff Captain, Safety Officer, First Officer, and a local pilot.
The Master was a 46-year old Croatian national who had around 19 years seafaring experience, three of which were served in the rank of a Master with STCW II/2 qualifications. He had been employed with the company since 2000 and had been serving on ‘Carnival Glory’, on a rotational basis, since May, 2017.
He was said to have had previous experience in docking the vessel at pier No. 2 at Cozumel.
The Staff Captain was a 40-year old Italian national. He had around 15 years seafaring experience, three of which were served as a Staff Captain. He held STCW II/2 qualifications for a Master, issued by the Italian Authorities. He had been employed with Carnival since 2005.
He also was thought ot have had previous experience in docking a passenger vessel at pier No 2.
The Safety Officer was a 34-year old Italian national. He had around two years of experience in this role. He held STCW II/2 qualifications, issued by the Italian Authorities.
He had been employed with the company since 2007 and had served on board ‘Carnival Glory’ on two previous occasions.
At the time of the incident, the weather was reported to be clear. Visibility was 12 nautical miles in natural light conditions. The wind was blowing from a North Northwesterly direction at 24 knots.
Swell was approaching ‘Carnival Legend’ from the Northwest with a height of about one metre.
The narrative, according to the ‘Carnival Legend’ was that on the morning of 20th December, 2019, the vessel was moored at the Puerta Maya No. 1 dock, at Cozumel, Mexico.
At around 08.45, the OOW observed another passenger vessel, ‘Carnival Glory’, getting closer to his vessel while manoeuvring into port, towards pier No. 2.
Shortly after, the OOW informed the engine control room and requested for the engines to be kept on standby. In response, the azipods and thrusters were immediately transferred to bridge control from the engine room.
While approaching pier No. 2, ‘Carnival Glory’s’ starboard quarter allided with the port bow of Carnival Legend. This resulted in the snapping of several safety ropes and the slackening of ‘Carnival Legend’s’ moorings, which consequently led the vessel to move away from the pier by about two metres.
The Staff Captain regained control of the vessel and gangway operations were ordered to be stopped immediately. By 0850, the vessel was brought back alongside using the azipods and thrusters.
A broadcast announcement was made by the cruise director, to notify the guests of the accident, which had just occurred.
As a result of the allision, ‘Carnival Legend’ sustained indented hull platings on decks Nos. 3 and 4. A mooring deck window on the port side and bulwark at deck No. 3 were slightly distorted, while the bow observation platform was completely damaged.
Also damaged were the bracket support for the additional RADAR antenna, gong and bell, fitted on the observation platform, causing the loss of the additional RADAR antenna.
Transport Malta pointed out that this report was not meant to apportion blame or to make recommendations but rather just give a factual account of what happened.