The impact punched a hole in the container ship and knocked passengers off their feet.
“No one was hurt on our ship; everyone was certainly shaken up,” said passenger Andrew Lock about the incident, which occurred on Friday when the Silver Shadow was about five miles off the Vietnam coast.
“When the ship appeared out of the fog, we knew five seconds before to brace for impact,” he said. “We hit full force into the side of this container ship.” He said a “gaping hole” was punched in the other vessel.
The two ships reportedly scraped against each other after the impact.
“It was surreal, to see this very large ship appear literally right in front of us. It was as if we were perfectly lined up to hit it. It was surreal. Bizarre.”
Following the impact, Lock said, passengers gathered a few of their possessions and headed to the muster stations.
“The crew was calm, but the passengers — some were scared, or even frantic,” Lock said.
After approximately 10 minutes, the captain announced that there was no imminent danger, he said.
The ship went on to anchor in Ha Long Bay, as had been planned.
“The next day, we went to a nearby port and once we were off the ship we could see how extensive the damage was,” Lock said.
“Silver Shadow was involved in a minor incident on March 16, 2012 at around 4:20 GMT as it was approaching the pilot station in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. There was contact between Silver Shadow and a local commercial vessel.
“Silver Shadow incurred limited minor dents and guests’ safety was never compromised. The ship was fully operational and continued on its course to Ha Long Bay where all shore tours operated normally. Silversea will carry out a full investigation into the incident.”
Lock disputed the cruise line’s characterization of the incident. “It was a major collision,” he said.
Silversea said it will carry out a full investigation into the incident.
Here is a CNN iReport from passenger Andrew Lock:
We’re on Silversea silver shadow cruise ship and we just collided with a Vietnamese container ship near Halong bay, Vietnam. We slammed into the side of it, in thick fog
The other ship was severely damaged, and crew hurt, damage to our ship is being asessed in hong kong. Passengers were called to muster stations.
Our ship has a hole in the bow, heres a pic of the other ship, it was struck in two places – their bridge, and we ripped a large tear in the side too.
I have more pics of the damage, sending this from my cellphone.
Many Brits and U.S. on board
Cruiseline is down playing incident but its serious.
Sent from my iPhone