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Video: Tiki Barge Strikes Moored Cruise Ship

tiki barge
Courtesy Cleveland Tiki Barge

Published May 27, 2021 1:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday afternoon, a floating tiki bar rammed into the stern of the moored dinner-cruise ship Nautica Queen on Cleveland's Cuyahoga River. A bystander video of the accident shows that passengers were thrown forward by the force of the impact; the vessel appeared to accelerate astern after the allision. 

Neither vessel suffered hull damage in the accident, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, but the tiki bar sustained minor cosmetic damage. 

The captain of the tiki barge tested negative for alcohol intoxication, the USCG told local media, and the cause of the casualty remains under investigation. 

While awaiting the results of the inquiry, the tiki barge's owner has emphasized that the captain who was on watch during the casualty voyage is no longer at the helm, and that its boats are "safe and seaworthy."

One of the boat's passengers told local outlet Cleveland.com that other individuals had reported pain or whiplash after the accident, and that one had been taken away from the pier in an ambulance.

The CLE Tiki Barge I and CLE Tiki Barge II operate river cruises on a crewed-charter, bring-your-own-drinks basis. For $400-$1,000 per excursion, the twin-hull aluminum barge comes complete with ice, coolers and a captain, with room for up to 30 passengers - far more space than the well-known tiki vessels of Key West. The operation's post-pandemic summer season is booking up quickly, the firm said in a recent social media post.