Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
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2 cruise ships collide in port

A Carnival cruise ship hit another Tuesday morning in the Key West Harbor, according to the Coast Guard.

No one was hurt and there was no structural damage to either ship, Key West Coast Guard commander Capt. Patrick DeQuattro told The Citizen Tuesday night.

"There was very glancing contact," he said, adding that none of the passengers on either ship felt or heard the impact.

The Carnival Imagination was moored at Pier B, at the Westin Resort, as the Carnival Fantasy was maneuvering to dock at the Mallory Square pier at 8:30 a.m. when the vessels reportedly struck stern to stern.

"This has not happened in recent history that I'm aware of," DeQuattro said. "It's a very unusual incident."

The ships are of the same class, kind and size, he said. The stern balconies of both hit each other, scraping some finish work and paint off, he said.

There was no clear cause other than they were too close to each other, DeQuattro added.

Personnel in "safety-sensitive positions" were tested for alcohol and drugs in accordance with Coast Guard policy, according to the press release, emailed at 6:36 p.m. Tuesday.

The Coast Guard is investigating.

The incident comes as the city of Key West ponders commissioning a $5 million study on widening the channel to allow larger cruise ships in.

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