A rare and shocking incident on the seas was caught on video when two large cruise ships, the Carnival Glory and Carnival Legend, collided Friday morning while maneuvering at port in Cozumel, Mexico.
The incident left six guests injured and resulted in a portion of one of the cruise ship's decks crushed, after which Carnival Cruise Line issued a formal apology and initial statement of what is believed to have happened later in day on Friday. The six were treated at a nearby hospital for what were reported as minor injuries.
Carnival described the incident as an 'allision' between the two ships, which is a nautical term denoting a ship colliding with a stationary object. The Carnival Glory was "maneuvering to dock" when it hit the already docked Carnival Legend, according to the company statement.
Though an investigation is said to be ongoing, the company currently believes the allision was due to “spontaneous wind gusts and strong currents.”
Captain Pero Grubjesic issued a letter to all cruise line guests — most of which were ashore during the accident. It began, “Dear Carnival Glory Guest, Welcome back from your day ashore. We hope you enjoyed your time in Cozumel.”
Carnival Glory just crashed into Carnival Legend and almost crashed into Oasis of the Seas at the Cozumel cruise port. #FoxNews #RoyalCaribbean #CarnivalLegend #CarnivalGlory #OasisoftheSeas pic.twitter.com/5ITBCfz99L— Matthew Bruin (@BruinMatthew) December 20, 2019
“A formal investigation is underway to confirm the cause of the accident, which we believe was due to spontaneous wind gusts and strong currents. The ship has been inspected by the required authorities and there are no issues that impact our ability to sail safely back to New Orleans.”
“Once again, we apologize for the disruption this may have caused,” Grubjesic wrote. “We will be extending a US$100, per stateroom, onboard credit to your Sail & Sign account.”
Some passengers described to CNN that they thought a large wave may have impacted the boat. This after the prior night passengers experienced motion through high winds.
"Last night we experienced some major motion on the boat so this morning we assumed something similar was happening," one eyewitness told CNN. "We felt a jolt and didn't really think anything of it."
Cruise ship personnel reportedly worked around the clock to make the damaged deck area safe so the cruise could proceed as normal after a delay at the dock.
One woman was standing just above the impact site when she took out her camera to begin recording the unexpected crash.
"Oh my God! We just hit that ship!" the stunned passenger exclaims.
An on-board announcement in the immediate aftermath said high winds were a key factor. By some accounts the incident could have been worse, given another cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, was docked nearby and reportedly almost hit as well.