Last Friday morning, a Silversea Cruises lulxury ship ran into a container ship off the coast of Vietnam during deep fog. On Monday, it was reported that the collision created a hole in the container ship, while passengers were knocked to the floor. The Silver Shadow vessel was only about five miles off the coast when the accident happened.
Silversea Cruises said in a statement that the Silver Shadow was involved in a minor collision on March 16 at around 4:20am GMT. It was approaching the pilot station in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam when it struck a local commercial vessel. The cruise vessel suffered some minor dents, but the safety of passengers was never compromised. The ship was completely operational and continued its journey to Ha Long Bay, and all tours went ahead as normal.
The Silver Shadow is 28,258 tonne and was built in 2000. It underwent a refurbishment last year and is registered in the Bahamas. It has the capacity to carry a maximum of 302 crew and 382 guests. On March 28, the vessel is due to depart Singapore for a seven-day cruise that will return to Singapore when it ends. Silversea – which is based in Monaco and has US, British, Australian and Singaporean offices – says it will conduct a full investigation into last week’s incident.
Although Silversea Cruises said the Silver Shadow didn’t suffer much damage and that all the passengers were safe, some of the guests have told reporters about how frightened they were during the ordeal. Andrew Lock said on Monday that the ship’s rear foghorn had been consistently sounded during the morning. When the foghorn at the front of the ship sounded suddenly, he and his wife looked out of the window and saw, to their horror, a Vietnamese container ship appear. It looked as though their cruise ship was perfectly lined up to hit the other vessel in the side.
Lock continued that he and his wife braced themselves for the collision. It was a terrifying moment, and about five seconds later, their ship ran into the side of the other. Contrary to what Silversea Cruises said, he called the incident a major collision. They could see the damage to the container ship and thought it was going to capsise when it began to roll over at a 90-degree angle, but it righted itself. Due to the force of the collision, the container ship also spun around so that it scrapped down the length of the cruise vessel as they passed. The damage was substantial.
Although they are unaware of injuries on the Silver Shadow, Lock said they could see several crew on the container ship just lying on the deck as they passed by. Passengers gathered some of their possessions and headed for the muster stations. The crew was calm, but some passengers were scared and frantic. After about ten minutes, the captain told them there wasn’t any imminent danger. The ship continued to anchor in Ha Long Bay, and when they were off the ship during daylight hours, they could see the extensive damage.