A recent report indicates that a 2019 incident in which a cruise ship struck the banks near the port of Venice was caused by the captain’s incompetence.
On June 2, 2019, the MSC Opera was maneuvering through the canals of Venice when it struck the banks of the channel. The crash damaged the banks and rammed into a smaller river cruiser, injuring four elderly tourists.
Prior assurances from officials suggested that cruise ships posed no danger to the people or buildings of Venice because the vessels never entered the channels under their own power and were pulled by tugs. However, that appears to have not been the case with the MSC Opera. A report filed by three Italian naval experts with the local public prosecutor indicates that the blame for the crash lies with the Opera’s captain and crew, and that the accident was caused in part because the ship entered the channel while using its own propellers.
The report from the naval experts says the Opera had entered one of the channels in Venice under its own power when the ship’s steering system failed. The report indicates that the captain was notified that the ship’s steering had failed, but the captain failed to notify the channel pilots who had come onboard shortly beforehand.
Furthermore, the captain failed to press a button that would have instantly stopped the ship’s engines, causing it to drift uncontrollably while being pulled by the tugs. Because the ship’s engines were still operating, the tugs could not adequately steer the ship, and one of the lines connecting the cruise ship to the tugs snapped. Once the tugs lost control of the ship, it drifted toward the banks of the canal, where it rammed a river cruiser before colliding with the shore.
Cruise ships passing through the venerable canals of Venice have been a growing concern for local residents and those who wish to protect the city’s historical architecture. Cruise ships bring tourists and lots of money to the local economy, but the Opera crash illustrates the potential dangers these large vessels bring to both people and property alike.
The requirement to have cruise ships pulled through the canals by tugs was meant to reassure locals in Venice that these vessels would not do any harm to their community. If cruise lines and their crews do not follow these guidelines, as in the case of the Opera, then future crashes could do catastrophic damage.
Call Louis A. Vucci P.A. Today If You’ve Been Involved in a Cruise Ship Accident
The case of the MSC Opera shows what can happen when cruise lines don’t take safety precautions seriously. Though the injuries were relatively minor in this instance, these kinds of accidents can cause serious harm to both passengers and crew members, and even get them killed in some cases.
If you’ve been involved in a cruise ship accident, the team at Louis A. Vucci P.A. has the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at (786) 375-0344 or visit our contact page for your free initial consultation.