Near miss on harbour
Cruise ship almost hit tour boat last summer
A massive cruise ship carrying 2,770 people narrowly missed a smaller tour boat in thick fog last summer in Halifax Harbour, a new report says.
The Transportation Safety Board report, released Thursday, says the Summer Bay, with 39 people on board, crossed the bow of the cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas with just 25 metres to spare.
It says the smaller boat’s captain made a number of mistakes — he thought there was other traffic in the harbour when he misinterpreted radar data, but didn’t slow down or take other steps to verify the information. It also says he was incorrect about his location in the harbour at a time when visibility was restricted to between 100 and 200 metres.
“The Grandeur of the Seas bridge team was unaware that the Summer Bay was crossing their bow until the pilot saw the Summer Bay’s mast as it appeared from underneath the bow on the starboard side, after it had already crossed,” said the report.
The two crossed paths on June 29, 2016, at 9:42 a.m. in the outer harbour between Mcnab’s Island and Purcell’s Cove.
The 238-metre Grandeur of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean and based in Baltimore, is a regular visitor to the harbour; the 15-metre Summer Bay is a day-tour boat run by Murphy’s the Cable Wharf, Halifax’s largest tour boat company.
The captain of the Summer Bay, going 7.5 knots, told the pilot of the cruise ship, going 10 knots, that it “would keep well clear by staying to the west of
the Grandeur of the Seas had a close call in June 2016.