Epic fail: Port Canaveral-based cruise ship crashes into dock in Puerto Rico
Norwegian Epic re-routes due to mechanical issues
PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Norwegian Epic cruise ship, based out of Port Canaveral, is stalled in San Juan after reports of engine trouble at sea and crashing into a dock in Puerto Rico.
The ship left on Saturday for a seven-day cruise and was supposed to make its first stop Tuesday in the British Virgin Islands. Instead, the ship had to reroute to Puerto Rico after mechanical issues on board.
Passenger Michael Miano said cruise officials made an announcement about the mechanical issues on Monday.
"Later that night, the captain came on and announced there was a power failure of some sort with the engines," Miano said.
While the ship tried to dock in San Juan, a strong gust of wind caused it to crash into the pier.
Norwegian Cruise Line tweeted a brief statement about the incident.
"As Norwegian Epic was maneuvering into Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a local pilot on board and the help of two tug boats, prevailing winds caused the ship to veer toward the pier, damaging two mooring points at Pier 3 East," the cruise line said.
No passengers or crew members were hurt.
"I can't imagine anyone felt it either. It looks like those docks were meant to just give way if a cruise ship barreled into them," Miano said.
A spokesperson from Norwegian Cruise Line later released the following statement:
“Yesterday, as Norwegian Epic was maneuvering into Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a local pilot on board and the help of two tug boats, prevailing winds caused the ship to veer towards the pier, damaging two mooring points at Pier 3 East. No one was injured and the pier remains operational. The ship sustained minimal, superficial damage to the hull, which does not affect the safe operation of the vessel. The ship will depart San Juan later today."
A spokesperson for the cruise line also addressed the ship's itinerary.
"Norwegian Epic, which embarked on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, experienced a mechanical issue. As such, she sailed to San Juan so we could assess the situation. While the issue did not affect the safety of the ship, it did impact the scheduled itinerary. She will no longer call to Tortola or St. Thomas. All services aboard the ship remain fully operational," the spokesperson said.
Miano said some passengers are asking for a refund, but said overall, everyone is still enjoying the cruise.
"The passengers are not in any kind of discomfort or distress or anything. People are upset that they bought a cruise to go to the Virgin Islands and we wound up in Puerto Rico, but they can still drink and eat and go to the shows. Everything is still working right," Miano said.
News 6 confirmed the Coast Guard and the National Safety Transportation Board are investigating the incident.
The Epic is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday morning.
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