Accident in the port of Venice on Sunday morning, 2 June. The collision involved an MSC cruise ship, MSC Opera, and the River Countess gran turismo river boat. The Opera was docked at the San Basilio wharf, in the Giudecca Canal, when it hit the boat on the stern side, which is also in the mooring phase.
Four people, all among the passengers on the boat, were taken to hospital with minor bruises.
According to Davide Calderan, president of the United Panfido Tugs, the company that was driving the work with two boats on arrival at sea, the MSC ship "had an engine failure, immediately reported by the commander. The engine was blocked, but in thrust, because the speed increased, as confirmed by the AIS tracks ". The two tugs tried to stop the ship until a towline broke, severed by the impact of the river boat.
"When it was up to the church of the Redeemer, the MSC - explained Calderan to Ansa - had the engine stuck, with rudder towards starboard, but in thrust. In other words, the speeds increased, as seen in the AIS tracks, from 5.5 knots to 6.9 knots when it was up to the Zattere ”. "The two tugs that drove it, Ivone C and the Angelina C - he continues - tried to stop it, but the ship continued to accelerate, until, at the old Marittima, the Angelina towline was cut by the impact with the bridge of the tourist boat stopped at the pier, and the ship continued towards the quay ". According to Calderan, the commander of the MSC Opera reported in time that the ship was no longer governable on the bridge. "We couldn't expect a similar incident to occur - adds Calderan - ships should have a system that allows them to shut down their engines in the event of a breakdown, I don't know exactly why it wasn't like this".
Several representatives of the "No Great Ships" committee arrived and the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, who gave an account of the incident on his twitter profile: "Incident at the port of Venice. Ship against quay in #sanbasilio. We are on the spot together with the police and emergency services ”. Still on the social network, Brugnaro also informed the citizens that the Regata and the Corte della Sensa, scheduled for today, were canceled. "In this moment - he adds - we must give priority to the means of rescue".
The mayor then relaunched the closure of the area to cruise ships: "It is the umpteenth demonstration that it is no longer conceivable that large ships should pass through the Giudecca Canal. We have been saying this for eight years, and we are immediately calling for the opening of the Vittorio Emanuele ", the alternative channel for arrival at sea.