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Cruise Liner runs aground in shallow waters In the Bahamas

  • 12-Jan-12 13:32
  • Bahamas
  • Huffington Post

Travellers taking Bahamas holidays on the MSC Poesia cruise ship had a bumpy ride last weekend when the ship ran aground two miles off the coast of Grand Bahama. The boat was full of electronica music fans and 20 DJs, including Steve Aoki and DJ Aero.

Cruise Liner runs aground in shallow waters In the Bahamas

The MSC Poesia cruise ship ran aground in shallow waters two miles off the coast of Grand Bahama Island last weekend with over 4,000 passengers onboard. Tourists who had been looking forward to their Bahamas holidays had a bumpy ride when the 93,300-ton vessel that was heading towards Port Lucaya docked in 14 feet of water in low tide in Freeport on Saturday morning.

A photographer onboard the ship said he was woken up by the commotion at 7am.

"I was fast asleep. When it happened, it was like 'boom!' A huge bang. Grinding and rattling and everything started shaking", he explained. "I had a half plate of food on my side table that flew off onto the floor. I heard the people in the room next to me freaking out and screaming, 'Oh my god, we're going down, where's the life vests? We're gonna die!'"

Four tugboats were used to try and stabilise the heavy vessel and pull it off the reef. Ships of that size are meant to dock in water no less than 30 feet deep but the MSC Poesia ended up in shallow waters with the bulbous bow of the ship, which should always be under water, protruding above water.

It is still unclear how cruise liner came to find itself in trouble and claims have been made that the ship was not equipped with a depth finder which is used by the pilot to help determine how deep the water is.

This was the ship's inaugural visit to the island and it had been highly anticipated by both the passengers who were excited about their cruise holidays to the Bahamas, and the local residents and businesses on the island who were welcoming the tourists' custom.

MSC Poesia in Nassau Bahamas
Image by: Jemingway, on Flickr

The ship had been hosting the first annual three-night Holy Ship! music cruise from Fort Lauderdale in the U.S and was full of electronica music fans and several DJs including Steve Aoki and DJ Aero.

Hadley Forbes, the President of H. Forbes Charter Services, who was contacted to provide transport for guests prior to the ship's arrival, commented: "For this to happen is a big setback for the cruise industry right here in Freeport. All the ports I've ever been to in the world, whenever the ship enters into the waters of the country, a pilot of the country normally is on-board the ship to bring it into port. I don't know what happened with this one. Something drastically went wrong."

The tourists were still able to enjoy brief holidays in the Bahamas with entertainment in the Port Lucaya Marketplace but the plaque exchange that was due to take place on-board the ship had to be cancelled.

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