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.