Marine Accident Brief

Bollard Failure Causing Breakaway of Cruise Ship Carnival Triumph from its Moorings, and Subsequent Collision with Dredge Wheeler and Towing Vessel Noon Wednesday

BAE Systems shipyard, Mobile River
Mobile, Alabama
April 3, 2013

NTSB Number: MAB-14-02
Adopted: January 23, 2014
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Accident Summary

On April 3, 2013, about 1328 local time, the cruise ship Carnival Triumph was moored and undergoing repairs at the BAE Systems shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, when the Port of Mobile experienced a period of high wind gusts. The vessel broke free from its moorings and drifted across the Mobile River, where it collided with the moored dredge Wheeler. A responding towing vessel, Noon Wednesday, became pinned between the cruise ship and the dredge. One shipyard employee died in the accident; another was injured. The total damage amount was estimated to be more than $2.9 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the breakaway of the Carnival Triumph from its moorings and the subsequent collision with the dredge Wheeler and the towing vessel Noon Wednesday was the successive failure of multiple mooring bollards, which were known by BAE Systems to be in poor condition with an undetermined mooring load capability.