Violent storms battered central Florida on Wednesday, with hefty wind gusts and constant tornado watches and warnings. At Port Canaveral, FL, on Florida’s Space Coast, the 88,500-ton Carnival Pride, which was docked for the day during a port call, was buffeted by an 85-knot wind gust that the cruise line says “caused the ship to become disengaged from its moorings.”
While Carnival didn’t elaborate, it appears that the hefty ropes holding the ship at dock simply weren’t up to the wind gust. There was no official word on whether any gangways fell as a result.
Typically, when any ship is docked, there are at least two gangways active. Guests and crew cross those while going between ship and shore to enjoy destination activities ashore. Crew and contractors also move supplies on and off the ship.
The good news is that no one was injured. Shortly after the incident the ship returned to its dock and Carnival says “guests began to reboard.”
Carnival says all appropriate authorities were notified. Typically, with any maritime incident, that might include port authorities, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is the nation’s primary agency for investigating any type of transportation incident or accident.
The Carnival Pride, which is operating a seven-day cruise from Baltimore, did not sail from Port Canaveral as planned as authorities investigated. Carnival has now confirmed, however, that it sailed for the Bahamas this morning at approximately 6:15 a.m., several hours behind schedule.
Because of the delayed departure from Port Canaveral, the ship’s itinerary has been modified to include an overnight visit in Freeport in the Bahamas; the ship will arrive at 4 p.m. today and depart at 2 p.m. tomorrow. In turn, today’s scheduled port call at Nassau in the Bahamas, has been canceled.
Carnival said in a statement that it “sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this incident may have caused its guests.”