Cruise Ship Breaks Free from Moorings

Monday, February 13, 2006
Coast Guard Lt. Ronald Fogan and Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Hobson review the voyage data recorder of the cruise ship Ecstasy, while some of the ship’s officers look on. The Coast Guard received a report that the Ecstasy, currently housing New Orleans Police Department officers, had broken free from its moorings at the Poland Street Wharf and was drifting down the Mississippi River near downtown New Orleans. Fogan, a foreign vessel inspector, and Hobson, a marine investigator, were dispatched from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans to investigate. There were no reported injuries or marine accidents in association with the incident. The incident remains under investigation by Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 1st Class Kyle Niemi

The Coast Guard responded to the report of an 855-ft. cruise ship having broken free from its moorings and drifting down the Mississippi River near downtown New Orleans. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans was notified that the cruise ship Ecstasy, of Carnival Cruise Lines, was drifting into the river from its berth at the Poland Street Wharf. New Orleans Coast Guard units immediately began broadcasting notices to mariners recommending they stay clear of the ship, as well as coordinating the use of civilian tugboats to regain control of the ship and return it to its berth. The ship traveled less than a mile down river before the captain and crew, with the assistance of a river pilot who went aboard, were able to drop the ship's anchor and secure its position, about 300 feet from the Mississippi River's West Bank near Algiers, La.

The ship came to rest outside of the river's navigational channel and does not appear to have made contact with any other vessels. There are no reported injuries in association with the incident and the Mississippi River remains open. Tugs have since returned the ship to its berth at the Poland Street Wharf. The ship is currently being used to house New Orleans Police Department officers. Coast Guard investigators and inspectors from Sector New Orleans conducted crew interviews as well as reviewed the ship's voyage data recorder. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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