July 17, 2008
Detained cruise ship cleared to sail to Tampa
The Coast Guard has cleared the 637-foot cruise ship Clipper Pacific for departure from New York after it was detained for numerous discrepancies found during a recent routine inspection.
"The vessel is now in substantial compliance with international and U.S. rules and regulations," said Lt. Ralph Savercool, an inspector with the Coast Guard who inspected the vessel. "We have cleared the vessel to sail to Tampa for more extensive work to be done on the hull."
According to its published itinerary, the ship's next port of call was to have been La Guaira, Venezuela.
A six-person examination team from Coast Guard Sector New York boarded the Clipper Pacific, a cruise ship home ported in the Bahamas, at 8 a.m. Sunday to conduct a routine safety inspection. Upon entering New York Harbor the ship's master reported a gash about one inch in length on the left side of the vessel sustained prior to coming to port.
Further investigation by the Coast Guard team identified 66 discrepancies such as fire safety, lifeboat damages and life jacket issues on the vessel. This inspection lasted from Sunday morning to Tuesday evening. All but four minor discrepancies have been addressed.
"The crew of the vessel were very cooperative and were very concerned for passenger safety," said Cmdr. Robert Gilda, Coast Guard Sector New York chief of inspections. "Not all of the 66 hazards would have been cause to keep the vessel longer than necessary, but they really went above and beyond to address most of the discrepancies found during the inspection."
The Clipper Pacific is carrying approximately 1,200 passengers and crew members. The passengers are free to choose whether or not to continue to sail with the vessel, says the Coast Guard.