It seems that the Harmony of the Seas collision was caused by the port pilot.
On Thursday morning, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas collided with a dock in the port of Falmouth, Jamaica.
Neither the crew nor the passengers were injured. The collision would have caused mainly cosmetic damage to the ship, including dents and paint scratches.
The damage was caused when Harmony of the Seas struck a concrete mooring pylon while docking at the port. The incident happened around 7 a.m. local time Thursday morning.
“There were no injuries to guests or crew and only minor cosmetic damage to the stern of the vessel. Sailing will continue as planned,” Royal Caribbean said of the incident.
According to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the collision of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas at the port of Falmouth was caused by pilot error.
The Jamaica Gleaner quoted Bartlett as saying “the good news is that no one was hurt and the damage was minimal to the ship and she was able to continue her journey unfazed and really unaffected”.
Video of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas crashing into the dock in Falmouth, Jamaica this morning. pic.twitter.com/cbFULNPe2w
— Ben Bearup (@TheAviationBeat) May 27, 2022
Bartlett also allegedly said the collision with the dock happened when the pilot was misdirected as he steered the ship to moor in Falmouth.
The port suffered damage as a result of the incident. The Minister of Tourism said: “We are currently repairing the damaged areas of the port. Divers are there now to collect broken items and we should be back in order for ships arriving next week.
Who is the port pilot?
A harbor pilot is a person who guides ships and vessels through the congested waters of a harbor or harbor.
You may have seen a pilot boat when your cruise departed or entered a port, usually while sailing, this is when they are most often spotted.
Harbor pilots have detailed knowledge and experience of the waterways they help steer ships. At almost every port, a harbor pilot will be brought aboard a cruise ship to help steer the large ship into place at the dock. Port drivers are considered experts on the particular port they manage.
Harbor pilots work for the port in which they help navigate ships, while a ship’s captain works for the cruise line.
Although Jamaican regulations may differ, the Florida Harbor Pilots Association states that when a pilot is on board a vessel, it is their responsibility to guide the vessel when docking or departing.
“Port Pilots are responsible for the safety of the ship on which they sail, as well as for the protection of waters, ports, the environment, life and property of the State, including the effects that ships passing through a port may have on other ships moored at the quays and any impact on port facilities.
No significant damage to Harmony of the Seas
If you have an upcoming cruise on Harmony of the Seas, this week’s incident will have no impact on your navigation.
Royal Caribbean called the damage “cosmetic” and not expected to impact sailings.
It’s a bit like when another ship drifted towards Mariner of the Seas while docked in Freeport. Much like Harmony, the incident looked worse than it was in terms of visuals.