Video: Costa Smeralda Cruise Ship Damages Lifeboat in Docking Accident
The Costa Smeralda suffered a docking accident this morning while arriving in the Italian port of Savona. No one was injured aboard the cruise ship or on the dock, but one lifeboat was destroyed and there was damage to a crane on the dock.
The 183,900 gross ton flagship of Costa Cruises was returned to the port southwest of Genoa when apparently due to a maneuvering accident one of the lifeboats became wedged against the structures onshore. As the vessel proceeded forward the lifeboat was ripped from its davit causing extensive damage. The boat fell into the water.
The cause of the accident is under investigation. Media reports from Italy said that there were no strong winds that might have contributed to the docking accident. Costa Cruises is reporting that the damaged lifeboat was retrieved and the ship later docked in Savona. An initial survey reports that the only apparent damage was to the lifeboat and the structures onshore. There was no damage to the hull of the cruise ship.
The Costa Smeralda suspended service on December 20, 2020, at the request of the Italian government to prevent additional spread of the coronavirus during the holiday season. The ship, which had been in the anchorage traveled a few days ago south to Civitavecchia, Italy, and was returning at the time of the accident to Savona, which has been her homeport.
Costa had announced that the line would resume cruises in February using one of its smaller cruise ships. Today, they revised the plans, announcing that “Following a careful evaluation of the measures contained in the Italian government decree currently in force in Italy, Costa Crociere has decided to postpone the restart of its ships to March 13, 2021.” Under the current plan, the Costa Smeralda will be the first cruise ship to resume sailing offering 7-day cruises, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina, and Cagliari, all in Italy. Costa also plans to offer 3- and 4-day portions of the cruise.
According to Costa Cruises, the Costa Smeralda remains seaworthy and has sufficient lifeboat capacity to continue operations after today’s accident. However, they said that the ship would remain on the dock at Savona while the investigation was ongoing and to facilitate repairs.