The U.S. Coast Guard said it's investigating an accident by the 965-foot-long Celebrity Infinity, which collided on Friday with Berth 3 in Ketchikan, AK. While no one was injured, the collision -- captured on this bystander's video -- caused audible sounds of ripping and shearing of metal.
Celebrity Cruises issued this official statement:
"On Friday, June 6, while docking in Ketchikan, Alaska, the Celebrity Infinity struck the pier due to inclement weather. Initial assessment shows minor scraping damage to the ship’s hull above the waterline, which our crew has been able to repair.
"No injuries were reported onboard the ship or on the pier. Celebrity Infinity was cleared by authorities and set sail from Ketchikan. She continued on her itinerary and arrived to Vancouver on Sunday, as scheduled."
On Saturday, Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. brands, told Travel Agent that the ship was expected to depart as scheduled Sunday on its next Alaska cruise from Vancouver.
However, the pier the ship hit is now out of service. Dave Martin, Ketchikan's assistant city manager, told the Associated Press that it's unclear how long the berth will be closed because it is too early to say how badly it's damaged.
Longshoremen and other bystanders apparently moved out of the way when they realized something was amiss during that docking; that helped prevent any injuries. Winds were reportedly gusting to 45 miles per hour at the time of the accident.
The accident occurred just as the busy Alaska cruise season begins. Ketchikan is returning to its pre-2007 plan for cruise ship docking -- meaning two piers will be available for cruise ships with any additional ships having to anchor offshore and transport guests in by tenders. There is no word on when the pier might be back in service.