Holy Ship! Boat Runs Aground in Bahamas, Drinkers Mostly Unfazed

Categories: Cruising
HolyShip Day2 by_Ian Witlen-102.jpg
Photo by Ian Witlen
Five tugboats work to pull the Holy Ship! out of some holy shit in the Bahamas on Saturday.
The inaugural Holy Ship! cruise, which sailed this past weekend from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas with a huge cast of electronic music artists and fans in tow, hit a serious snag on Saturday morning. Like, the MSC Poesia literally snagged land, and things got shaky for a while for Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Diplo, and the rest of the crew. Note: This is the same boat that is scheduled to take a whole bunch of Deadheads back out to sea today on the 10th annual Jam Cruise, which is sold out.

New Times
photographer Ian Witlen says the commotion started at about 7 a.m. on Saturday when the boat was scheduled to dock at Port Lucaya in the Bahamas. "I was fast asleep," he says. "When it happened, it was like 'boom!' A huge bang. Grinding and rattling and everything started shaking. I had a half plate of food on my side table that flew off onto the floor. I heard the people in the room next to me freaking out and screaming, 'Oh my god, we're going down, where's the life vests? We're gonna die!'"


What followed was a day-long ordeal of dislodging the massive vessel from the land, which required five tugboats and took until almost 10 p.m. Not exactly what the folks planning to attend Steve Aoki's afternoon poker tournament had in mind, but aside from a few delays, all of the Saturday events still occurred, according to Witlen.

Some footage of the MSC Poesia getting pulled by the tugboats has popped up online, and complete with some smug, procedural commentary by a diver. "The water's about 15 feet deep here -- the ship needs 26," he informs us. "Almost like a porn shot, we know exactly what this ship did to our reef, and our livelihoods."



"The entire time the tugboats were pulling and the ship's engine was running in reverse, it was a constant rattling and shaking of the boat," Witlen says. "Trying to eat dinner while your water glass is swaying side-to-side and the chandelier shaking is uncomfortable."

But again, this was a party cruise, and the incident became a bit of a running joke throughout the rest of the trip. According to Witlen, "If anything, it improved drink sales."

More on Holy Ship! here, and we'll have more updates throughout the week.


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14 comments
Amanda
Amanda

I was on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas in Jamaica on January 12, 2012, with the MSC Poesia docked next to us. It left one hour before us and on its departure the rear of the ship collided with the dock and left damage to the concrete dock and side of ship. The contact with the dock left a gash about 15 feet long and 4 inches deep. The MSC Poesia continued out of port and ran over a stationary orange buoy and destroyed and sank it. Could not tell if hull was damaged but the MSC Poesia continued cruising to next port.

I'll never be sailing on THIS ship.

Capt. Pete
Capt. Pete

Oh, and to the reef hugger FQS9000 and to the the confused of ship grounding incidents, especially on protected areas such a living reef, no one just 'sails off into the sunset' post incident. There's a lot of report writing and investigative efforts on the company and host nation's enforcement officials, not to mention a dry-docking of the ship, to ascertain the extent of damages to the reef and ship.

Now FSQ, I do like and respect the preservation efforts to save/preserve reefs, but to ban shipping all over the worlds oceans, because a ship strikes a reef in the Caribbean Sea? Um, like, you know, like, I think you're,  like, a little too, like extreme, like, in what you, like, obviously, like, know so little about, like, ya know? Here's a hint, try, like, using another, like, action adverb, like, instead of, like, saying or using "like, like, six thousand times a day, in your, like, vocabulary, because, like, you really show your, like ignorance and blatant, like stupidity, like in what you, like, have to (not) say. Like, you know? Yeeesh.... Like, where would you, like, be able to, like, post a million things you know not anything of, or about, to like, the world, like, if you, like didn't have your, like, phone, computer, or like, your Ipod, if, like, it wasn't, like shipped from overseas to you? Like, you know?

And to the rocket scientist making the comment about the 'damage' that the tugs created in the removal of the ship. Really? They (tugs) are operating in deep water a couple hundred feet away from the ship, and they are damaging the reef how? Also, in preventing the ship from creating more damage to the reef and possibly it's self and (potentially) any number of the fuel tanks, creating a worse  situation, you would rather see the ship try to back off under its own power? It's screws (that's 'propellers' to you) and bow and stern thrusters sucking in and pushing debris and heavy water flows over the reef in an effort to free its self? Ah, no. Wrong move there Captain. 

Additionally, the Captain of a ship is, under international law, ALWAYS responsible for the safe piloting and navigation/safety of the ship AT ALL TIMES. There is no place where one is exempt, unless the vessel is commandeered  by a host nations laws (i.e piloting the canal zone, but the Captain is still overall responsible to ensure proper protocol in safe passage is maintained) or under duress, -taken over by a hostile force.

Hand Salute.

Capt. Pete
Capt. Pete

"Almost like a porn shot, we knew exactly what this ship did to our reef and our livelihoods."

Huh??? Can anyone decipher that one for me? And what exactly was the narrators point?? I can lay (one) a thousands tongue in cheek (two) type comments here, but seriously, can anyone explain to this old salt what the hell he means? Pull out?? lol

FQS9000
FQS9000

Holy Titianic.  Thank the organizers that this wasn't the North Atlantic.  And I feel so terrible for the poor reef what was so utterly destroyed.  Now all the reefs in the world are like gone and none of the poor polyps will ever make coral again.  This is so sad.  What we need is a law prohibiting any ships from ever sailing again.  Remember, reefs good, people bad.  Life is so wonderful when you don't have to think to know what is best for everybody else. 

Chad D
Chad D

All the organized shore excursions ended up being cancelled as the first tender didn't get away until after noon.  Witlen must have been in the bow, I was in the stern, and while rousted from my sleep, no one thought the ship was going down.

Dadu
Dadu

Sorry, I did not think that tthe diver was being smug, he was probably angry that a reef that takes thousands of years in the making had been destroyed by sheer incompetence on the part of those responsible. The reef was then further damaged by their efforts to free the ship, swinging the vessel from side to side totally damaging what remained of the reef.The vessel then sailed of into the sunset with music blaring leaving a trail of destruction behind. 

ridgelawrence
ridgelawrence

While everything was A-ok, Jamcruise (MSC Poesia event right after HolyShip) was basically shaking the whole way back to Ft. Lauderdale (not too bad, but if you put your head against the headboard you could definitely feel it, and this was not on any other day until this happened). Apparently they were pumping water out the whole way back to Ft. Lauderdale. 

STILL by far the BEST cruise I have ever been on (then again I'm freshly 21 and very energetic), and I'm pre-booked for HolyShip! next year too. 

I do wonder though, was the captain as drunk as the passengers? 

crayon
crayon

He means the ship fucked them.

Ian
Ian

I was indeed in the bow. I didn't think we were going down, just the drunks in the room next to me. I looked out the balcony, saw the reef and went back to sleep for a while.

Ian
Ian

It was NOT the captain of the MSC Poesia that ran the ship aground. The port has a Pilot boat guide the cruise ships into port. It was the fault of that ship's captain.

Chad D
Chad D

Ha!  I went back to sleep as well, until all that shaking started anyway.

Dadu
Dadu

Ian, your statement is confusing and contradictory, a ship can only ever have one Captain, By definition, he is the Ship's Captain, any local Pilot is only employed to give guidance and advice.The only exception to this rule (internationally) is when a ship transits the Panama Canal.The Captain and his entire bridge management team must have been asleep to allow a complete stranger to run their ship on the rocks

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