JUNE 19, 2015—Last night, a cruise ship carrying 274 people allided with the wall in the Eisenhower Lock in the Saint Lawrence Seaway in Massena, NY, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Local reports said 17 people were injured. The injuries were believed to be minor. The cause of the allision is under investigation.
The Coast Guard reported last night that the 4,954-gross ton cruise ship Saint Laurent remained in the lock, where the water was drained, while response crews removed injured passengers.
With the ship trapped in the lock, responders from Massena CERT Ambulance and Rescue had to use a cherry picker to access the vessel and take out patients. According to a Facebook post by the agency, 30 patients out of 200 persons on board were triaged and transported from the cruise ship last evening.
In statement released today, FleetPro Passenger Ship Management reported that the ship made contact with a concrete approach wall bumper of the Westbound door of the Eisenhower Lock in Massena at 2115 hrs on June 18. The Bahamas Flag vessel, which was on passage from Montreal to Toronto, was carrying a total of 192 passengers and 81 crew members. The passengers are mainly of French and Swiss nationality.
As a result of the incident, says FleetPro, 19 guests and 3 crew members suffered minor injuries and were transferred to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment. The shipboard doctor was available at all times.
FleetPro says the vessel remains in safe condition in the lock which is partially drained of water. All shipboard services are fully functional for guests on-board. A ship inspection team has been appointed by owners and managers and will attend the vessel to assess the damage, which is limited to the bow area, before any attempt is made to move the “Saint Laurent” out of the lock and onto a berth.
At all times, says FleetPro, the safety of passengers and crew is the absolute priority and owners and managers wish to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and all the local agencies and emergency services who responded in such a timely and professional manner to this unfortunate incident. The company will carry out a full investigation onto the events leading up to the allision and cooperate fully with any official investigation.
At 9:45 p.m., a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received notification of the allision.
A crew aboard a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York, responded along with a marine inspector from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Massena.
The Coast Guard says the 101.1m x 16.2m ship will remain in the lock with both doors closed until it can be moved to different location.
The Saint Laurent was built in 1975 and refurbished in May 2015.
The Coast Guard reported that the cruise ship Saint Laurent is owned by International Shipping Partners. International Shipping Partners, however, changed its name to FleetPro Ocean, part of FleetPro Passenger Ship Management Services. FleetPro Passenger Ship Management was formed in 2013, when River Advice of Basle, Switzerland, and International Shipping Partners, Miami, FL, joined forces. FleetPro Passenger Ship Management has extensive experience in the passenger vessel sector.
According to FleetPro Passenger Ship Management’s website, the MS Saint Laurent as an ocean passenger/expedition vessel registered in the Port of Nassau, Bahamas, and says it is owned by Adventurer Owner Ltd.
The Saint Laurent is the former Cape May Light. Guido Perla Associates provided design for the M/V Cape May Light and her sister vessel, the M/V Cape Cod Light. The 91-meter cruise ships were built by Atlantic Marine Inc. of Jacksonville, FL, and can accommodate 224 passengers and 77 crew members. The vessels are equipped with two Schottel 1,970 HP Z-Drives, two 1,825 hp main generators and one 1,000 HP bow tunnel thruster.
Both the M/V Cape May Light and the Cap Cod Light were designed to cruise the U.S. East Coast, Maritime Canada and into the St. Lawrence River and Seaway.