New York bash delays Saga Ruby

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An elegant old lady got a punch in the nose at the weekend – cruise ship Saga Ruby hit a concrete bollard while berthing in New York, and had to have emergency repairs to a hole in the bow before setting off back to the UK.
The ship, which carries 660 passengers, was returning to Manhattan’s Pier 88 after a two-week New World Adventure cruise to the north-eastern states of the US when the incident happened, with a pilot on the bridge.
Sailing up the Hudson past the historic aircraft carrier USS Intrepid and the pensioned-off Concorde at Pier 86, Ruby appeared to turn too fast into her own berth.
Captain Philip Rentell threw the engines into reverse, but it was too late to avoid a collision. His comments to the pilot were appropriately salty – not surprisingly as he has had experience of berthing ships as big as the QE2 at Manhattan in the past. It will be interesting to read how he covers the incident in his Captain’s Blog.
My colleague Steve Read, who joined the ship later in the day for the Transatlantic crossing, tells me it was possible to see daylight through the gash in the ship’s bow – so she was clearly not able to take to sea.
Saga spokesman Paul Green said this morning: “On Saturday at 07:43 hrs Saga Ruby was turning into Manhattan, west side, Pier 88 berth 1 and during the swing the stem touched the end of the pier shore bollard. This was a light touch so customers would not have been aware that the ship had touched the berth – so no injuries, just embarrassed pilots !
“Clipping the bollard caused some minor damage to the stem plate so we moved the ship to the Liberty Cruise terminal in Bayonne for repair.
“Passengers have enjoyed the extra day In New York and we plan to sail later today once the repair is inspected.”
Ruby’s next scheduled voyage is a 16-night cruise to the Mediterranean, currently scheduled to leave Southampton on October 18. The itinerary will have to change, but Saga are waiting to see whether she will be one or two days late getting home before announcing details.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:36+00:00 12 October 2009|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Saganaughts 13 October 2009 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    We were there and saw it all from the Promenade Deck.
    It appeared to us that the ship wasn’t going too fast but that the pilot left it too late to start the turn into the dock. From where we were standing it was pretty obvious that we weren’t going to make it. I’m sure the deck officer must have been shouting into his radio as he hung over the rail to watch the inevitable crunch. It was quite a jolt but we were surprised that passengers not on deck remained completely unaware of the collision. The bow did make a bit of a mess of the concrete of the pier, with the New York dockers gathering round to inspect it – just to the left of the rubber bumper in the video of the ship leaving the berth for repairs.
    We were hoping for a “juicy” comment from the bridge but Captain Rentell made no mention of it – probably as the pilot was still on board!

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