During rainy conditions very early Saturday morning, a small fishing boat collided with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl, causing a strong jolt to the cruise ship and damage to the smaller vessel. No injuries or delays are reported from the cruise ship, which has continued on its way for its current 7-night roundtrip sailing from Boston to Bermuda.
Collision With Norwegian Pearl
The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2022, when the fishing boat struck the cruise ship. The collision was at the cruise ship’s midsection and cause a jolt and a sudden strong list. Alarm calls sounded and the ship corrected its balance.
The Coast Guard was notified immediately to render assistance and has confirmed the incident.
No injuries are reported from the cruise ship, and guests were not summoned to muster stations. Norwegian Pearl was cleared shortly afterward to continue on its way to Bermuda.
No significant damage is reported from Norwegian Pearl, other than paint and scratch damage on the vessel’s port side, though there are reports of broken dishes in the ship’s restaurants and bottles that fell from shelves in the ship’s bars.
The fishing boat, Gabby G, was more severely damaged, with one minor laceration injury reported from the incident.
The collision took place approximately 41 nautical miles (47 miles) east of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Norwegian Pearl had departed Boston late Friday afternoon to begin its cruise, and the collision happened roughly 10 hours later.
Norwegian Pearl was cleared to resume her course with only a slight delay, while the damaged fishing vessel returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts at approximately 6 p.m. Saturday evening.
Norwegian Pearl is a Jewel-class ship, weighing in at 93,530 gross tons and measuring 965 feet long and 106 feet wide. She has a guest capacity of as many as 2,394 passengers, with 1,039 crew members aboard.
Gabby G, by contrast, is a relatively small commercial fishing boat at just 69 feet long and 23 feet wide, with a typical crew of fewer than 10.
How Do Collisions Happen?
How is it possible that a fishing boat did not see something as large as a cruise ship in time to avoid such a collision?
Heavy rain, fog, and poor visibility were reported at the time of the incident between Norwegian Pearl and Gabby G.
While exact details are not available, it is possible that the small crew of Gabby G was preoccupied with onboard tasks to secure their vessel in rough water and simply failed to note the proximity of the cruise ship, which would not have been noticed as soon owing to the poor visibility.
It is also possible that the fishing vessel may have drifted slightly off its anticipated course in the bad weather, bringing it closer to the cruise ship’s route than expected.
While passengers onboard the cruise ship have reported the water as calm at the time, the much smaller fishing vessel would have been more easily affected by any choppiness or rough waves.
Splashing from heavy raindrops and additional wind-blown rain could have obscured both vessels, making them even more difficult to see at night until they were too close to avoid the collision.
This news comes after the Norwegian Sun cruise ship that recently hit an iceberg in Alaska and resulted in Norwegian Cruise Line canceling some sailings.