Ice Dents Cruise Ship's Hull Below Waterline

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

The U.S. Coast Guard visited the cruise ship “Westerdam” when it arrived in Sitka yesterday after striking some ice in Yakutat Bay near the Hubbard Glacier.  Sure enough, they found a dent in the hull, according to Lieutenant Junior Grade James Dooley.  It’s about 15 feet below the waterline.

“There was an indentation that was visible on the vessel but there is no breach, no flooding, no pollution or injuries reported,” Dooley said.

They let the boat go on its way.  The “Westerdam” is 936 feet long and can carry close to 2,000 passengers plus a crew of 817. Yakutat resident Bert Adams was aboard the vessel as an interpreter for the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. He says he felt an impact, but didn’t think much of it.

“Just a little bit of a loud noise and a shudder, but that’s about it,” Adams said. “We didn’t pay much attention to it because it’s happened before.”

“They go into there and when the ice is thick they’ll hit an iceberg every now and then and the hull will seem to take it.”

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