Windy weather caused the 642′ Silver Spirt cruise ship to abort it’s Key West departure last Thursday and crash into a dolphin in its attempt to gain control of the ship.
The crash caused damage to the ship’s hull, a “breasting dolphin” and possibly other portions of the Mallory Square dock.
Mallory Square dock was booked 5 times in November and is booked 7 times this month beginning on the 7th of December.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
The following videos are published with permission from Broadwave LiveCams. Broadwave has live webcams in several locations in Key West and the Keys. Check out their YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/BroadwaveLiveCams.
An eyewitness using the alias “KeyWestLiz” posted the following comment and photos below on the public forum CruiseCritic.com:
“I watched it as it left. It was very windy out there that night. It got a ways out before it was evident there was an issue as it started drifting back in. It was an interesting sight to see standing down by the water by the south bollard area, especially since we didn’t know what was going on or how hard it was about to hit. It scraped the ship up and left markings in several areas as it hit different sections during its attempt to redock. It did some significant damage to the south bollard at M dock… it might have damaged some of the other docking area as well.”
Update December 5, 2018: Received the following information from City of Key West spokesperson, Alyson Crean:
“The City of Key West is working to fast track repairs to a cruise ship mooring at Mallory Square that was damaged last week by a departing ship. The t-shaped berthing platform, called a breasting dolphin, was damaged when a combination of wind and current drove the ship into it last week. The damage left the mooring unusable.
The City is currently working with consultants, evaluating interim and permanent solutions to reduce the financial impact of lost cruise ships while the dockage is out of commission. Port officials have been working with the cruise ship agent exploring ways to use other dockages while repairs are under way. In December, the damage will result in one less port call in Key West.
City officials are already working on the necessary permitting to fast track the repair as well as with the cruise line’s insurance carrier. Overall, the repair is expected to take about three months.”
Update December 6, 2018: The United States Coast Guard has confirmed that they have an ongoing investigation regarding the incident.