Monday, February 12, 2007
The Carnival Cruise Lines cruise ship Fantasy was struck by a barge while approaching its home dock on the Mississippi River. According to a company statement, a commercial tow barge lost control and collided with the river bank, then struck the port side of the Fantasy. "You can see a 15-foot dent they're working to repair," said Brian Peach, a reporter who was aboard. The Coast Guard later reported the collision resulted in a 30-foot gash approximately five feet above the waterline on the left-rear area of the cruise ship. There was minor damage to the barge, which was one of six rice barges being pushed by the towing vessel Repentance.
Carnival Cruise Cruise Ship FANTASYThere were no injuries to guests or crew, the company said. The ship remains fully operational, Carnival said. The ship was returning from a cruise at the time of the accident. Those passengers disembarked and a new group was allowed to board, Peach said. "One of the crew said they weren't moving, they were waiting to come into the dock and the rogue barge slammed into them," Peach said. Arriving passengers were supposed to be in their rooms by noon and the ship was to sail at 4 p.m., Peach said. But passengers were not allowed to go to their cabins as they boarded, he said. "We're sitting in the restaurant eating," Peach said. "There's a great buffet. We have no idea when we'll sail, though." The statement said it was unlikely the ship would sail Saturday, although a preliminary assessment determined it was safe for passengers to remain aboard while repairs were made.