Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tour Boat Crashes Into Dock

By Mark Edward Nero

The cruise vessel Adventure Hornblower suffered damage to its bow, and seven passengers were hurt, on the afternoon of March 31 after the tour boat crashed into a walkway on a San Diego dock.

The vessel, which was carrying about 140 passengers and four crew members returning from a three hour whale watching cruise, was attempting to dock at the San Diego Embarcadero just before 1 pm when it is believed that the vessel’s throttle became stuck in the forward position.

Three of the seven injured passengers were taken to hospital with various injuries, including the neck, back or leg. None of the injuries were life threatening, however tugs were needed to pull the vessel apart from the walkway, and the passengers on board were forced to wait about two hours to disembark.

The Adventure Hornblower, built in 1994, is 150 feet long and has three decks. It is owned and operated by Hornblower Cruises & Events, a San Francisco-based charter yacht, ferry service and dining cruise company.

The US Coast Guard and harbor police are investigating the incident, but this is just the latest in a string of incidents for the vessel over the past two years.

In October 2014, the Adventure Hornblower hit another tour ship, the Cabrillo, before then slamming into a pier. The following month, just a few days after being cleared to return to normal operations, the vessel lost all engine control, requiring the crew to manually manipulate the engine from the engine room to avoid a mishap on the water.

The US Coast Guard later determined both incidents were caused by error codes in the engine control system.

A video of the latest crash, taken by a pedestrian bystander on the damaged walkway, can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrrDLdeL2HQ