Cruise Ship Zenith Louis Hellenic Cruises Aegean Pearl Collision – On July 28, 2008, Pullmantur Cruises Zenith Docked with about 1,819 passengers and 619 crew when they Collided with Louis Hellenic Cruises Aegean Pearl at Piraeus, Greece.
The Cruise Ship Zenith and the smaller Aegean Pearl, were unable to avoid colliding while in Greece’s main port of Piraeus. Both ships were damaged, then held in port for inspection.
With global warming, record numbers of ships are running aground in primarily Greek and Alaskan waters. The industry is faced with a growing problem of large ocean sailing vessels being unable to avoid each other in increasingly crowded ports. (see video below)
Reports say no passengers were injured during the collision.
Zenith, owned by Pullmantur Cruises was said to have about 1,819 passengers aboard with a crew of 619 crew tending to their needs when she collided with the Aegean Pearl owned by Louis Hellenic Cruises. Zenith was attempting to tie up in Piraeus when the incident took place, and was struck by the Aegean Pearl.
Aegean Pearl had only an estimated 504 passengers aboard, tended to by a crew of 349.
The Aegean Pearl had been scheduled to depart Piraeus Monday morning for a cruise stopping at Mykonos, Kusadasi in Turkey and then continuing to the Greek islands of Patmos, Crete and Santorini.
The Zenith had arrived in Piraeus after setting off from Venice, Italy, and stopping in Croatia and the Greek islands of Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini.
As the waters in and around harbors become increasingly more shallow, the large cruise lines order and launch larger ships, selling their smaller cruise ship to the smaller lines, the problem of sharing space is only going to get worst.
While the global waters of earth seems to be so vast as to offer sailing space for an unlimited number of ships, the space actually desired for prime sailing and docking is becoming a prized commodity. One by one, ports are realizing that the cruise ships bring an abundance of people to their shores, but cause more problems than they are worth.
In this case, the damage to the port could have been a disaster, such as the one created in the Mississippi River in New Orleans last week. In the image above, a Google satellite image of the port of Piraeus, it is clear the harbor can become congested quickly.
When ships get punctured, they quite frequently leak. When that happens in or near a port, the problem for local residents and those who make their living from the sea can be catastrophic.
Video:PORT OF PIRAEUS, GREECE