Tense Moment for Parents on Italy Cruise Ship Dock

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Parents of a young boy sailing aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Enchantment of the Seas had a tense few minutes on the dock in Salerno, Italy when their son accidentally slipped off the dock and into the water between the pier and the cruise ship.

He was quickly rescued from the water and uninjured, thanks to the fast actions of his father, crew members on the pier, and other guests.

Passenger Falls Into Water From Cruise Ship Pier

While visiting Salerno, Italy on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, an 8-year-old boy accidentally stepped off the cruise ship dock and fell into the water next to the cruise ship. The family – the boy, his parents, and his sister – had just debarked the ship for the day in port when the incident occurred, Corriere Della Sera reports.

The boy had been holding his father’s hand, but slipped loose after struggling for a few moments – as young children will do – and ran toward the edge of the dock, stepping off into the water. His father immediately jumped in as well, while alarmed cries from the mother and other cruise guests alerted nearly security guards.

A rope was thrown to the boy and he clung to it and was able to be pulled safely back onto the dock, wet but without injuries. The boy’s father was also assisted out of the water with a life ring. You can watch a video of the incident below:

During the incident, the mother’s panicked screams can be heard asking where her child is, but they were quickly reunited on the dock. To preserve the family’s privacy at this unsettling time, their names have not been released.

The 82,910-gross-ton, Vision-class Enchantment of the Seas is currently sailing a 7-night Greek Islands cruise, having departed from Rome on Monday, October 2. Salerno was the ship’s first port of call visit on the voyage, and the ship was in port from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. The startling incident did not have any impact on the ship’s schedule.

No other cruise ships were docked in Salerno on Tuesday, though the port is often visited by vessels from Costa Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Holland America Line, Marella Cruises, MSC Cruises, and other lines.

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas
Photo Credit: Tiffany Marie Green / Shutterstock

The current Enchantment of the Seas cruise will also visit Sicily, Santorini, Kusadasi, and Mykonos before debarking in Athens (Piraeus), Greece on Monday, October 9. The ship will remain in the Mediterranean offering visits to Greece, Italy, Montenegro, France, Spain, and other top destinations until mid-November.

On Monday, November 13, Enchantment of the Seas will set sail from Barcelona on a transatlantic cruise to bring her to Tampa, Florida where she will offer a range of Western Caribbean and Bahamas sailings at least through spring 2025.

Safety on the Dock

When cruise ships are docked, bumpers are used to keep the vessel from rubbing against the pier and potentially causing damage to either the ship or the dock. Because of those bumpers, there is a slight gap between the ship and the dock structure.

Yellow or red lines are often painted on the sides of the dock to ensure the edges are easily visible no matter what the conditions, and signage may indicate that everyone is to stay away from the edge. Young children, however, aren’t necessarily alert to these types of warnings and may inadvertently get too close to the edge in their excitement.

Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Guest Falls Off Pier in Bimini, Bahamas

It is not typically possible to put permanent barricades along the edge of a dock, as such structures would interfere with docking operations, cargo loading, and other work.

All cruise guests should always stay alert to potential hazards on the dock and gangway, including trip hazards, slippery spots, or uneven surfaces. Rescue equipment is always kept nearby in case of any incidents.

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