View Full Version : Norwegian Dawn in New York

April 18th, 2005, 05:20 PM

April 18, 2005
Big Wave Leaves Some Unlikely to Go Down to the Sea in Ships Again

More than 2,000 passengers, shaken by the experience of having a seven-story wave pummel their storm-tossed cruise ship on Saturday, disembarked in Manhattan today, with some vowing never to sail again.

"It was the perfect storm," said one passenger, Celestine Mcelhatton, a contractor from Rockland County. Mr. Mcelhatton and his wife, Anne Marie, had spent their honeymoon on the 965-foot-long cruise ship, the Norwegian Dawn, which docked at Pier 88 on the Hudson this morning.

Mr. Mcelhatton said he was in a reception area on Deck 7 when the wave crashed into the front of the ship early Saturday off the coast of Georgia.

"People started fighting with members of the crew, and blaming them for the storm," he said after coming ashore today. "Many people wore life jackets. The furniture was broken, and passengers started smoking. It was chaos."

The Norwegian Dawn was on its way back to New York from Miami Friday night when it ran into rough weather. Passengers said the storm buffeted the ship for almost 11 hours, keeping many up all night, before the giant wave hit the ship near dawn on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for Norwegian Cruise Line, Susan Robison, said the wave reached as high as Deck 10 on the 15-deck vessel and injured four passengers, broke windows and flooded 62 cabins. None of the injuries were considered serious, she said, though one of the passengers required stitches.

After the wave struck, the ship turned around and put into Charleston, S.C., for inspections and repairs. A few hundred of the ship's passengers decided to leave and complete their journey via other means.

Passengers said today that they had been offered a refund of half the price of their cruise and half off a future cruise, though many said that, at the moment, they felt it was unlikely that they would take advantage of the second part of the offer.

Some passengers questioned why the ship's captain had chosen to ride out the storm instead of turn back as it had approached. "We rode those waves for 11 hours," said Jean Marie Cranston of Berkeley Heights, N.J. "We should have turned around before we did."

Jiji Thomas, one of the Norwegian Dawn's co-pilots, said that his shift ended two hours before the wave hit the ship, and that until then, the storm had not been severe enough to turn the vessel around.

Mr. Thomas, who described the captain, Niklas Peterstam, as "calm" throughout the storm, explained that the crew had had access to extensive data on the weather and had prepared a number of options for dealing with it if it had worsened.

"The big problem was that wave," he said.

April 18th, 2005, 06:24 PM
The furniture was broken, and passengers started smoking.
Oh Lord, not the furnishings!

April 18th, 2005, 09:44 PM
The Norwegian Dawn (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/) luxury liner limped into New York's waters after being battered by a rogue wave. 18 April 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/norwegian_dawn.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/)

April 18th, 2005, 10:25 PM
Vowing to never sail again is stupid. But I guess some people are just that.

I've been on 5 cruises (not lately though =/) and nothing even near that ever happened to me. Sometimes we'd get the crew to tell us stories about freak storms though. Someone on Enchantment of the Seas recalled a wave once smashing against the bridge (~80 ft up).

Larger, newer ships like the Dawn are designed with stabilizers that can balance even somewhat rough seas. I guess stability wasn't the problem though. You can't guard against a freak wave out to kill you. The whole thing reminds me of The Poseidon Adventure(?).

Also reminds me of an incident a few years ago in which Splendour of the Seas got raped by Hurricane Karl in the north Atlantic, plates and glass smashed in the dining room, several room windows broken, things flying around, etc...

April 19th, 2005, 01:04 PM
The printed Times article has a bit more detail: "During the storm...the ship's bartenders served free drinks."

So it couldn't have been that bad....as long as they were smart enough to get to a bar.

October 30th, 2005, 12:24 AM
The Norwegian Dawn (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/) leaving the port of New York on 29 October 2005. The view from Top of the Rock - observation deck atop GE building in Rockefeller Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/observation/top_of_the_rock.htm).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/norwegian_rockefeller.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/)

October 30th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Back in 1998 my family went on a vacation to the Bahamas, by way of boat from Fort Lauderdale. It was only a couple hour cruise, but by halfway through we were hitting some really rocky waves. Shortly after, every person on the ship was sprawled out with barf bags in hand, if not in use. My stomach remained ok through it and I went walking around as much as was possible.

The most surreal sight was seing the main staircase, a typically grand affair, littered with bodies everywhere, all trying to hold their lunch. And the bar on the top deck lost pretty much every glass and plate they had. I'm assuming waves of those size don't strike much since the tableware was all stored in open-face cupboards, but it struck me as very silly to not have that stuff stored in a secure place just in case. These things were literally flying off the wall and shattering all over! What an early highlight to our trip that was.

October 30th, 2005, 09:29 PM
The Norwegian Dawn (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/) leaving the port of New York on 30 October 2005. The view from Top of the Rock - observation deck atop GE building in Rockefeller Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/guide/observation/top_of_the_rock.htm).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/norwegian_dawn_night_ge.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/)

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/norwegian_dawn_liberty.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/norwegian/)

November 2nd, 2005, 12:52 PM
Shots from Weehawken:



February 26th, 2010, 10:06 AM
I was on this ship when it happened. It was way worse than this article is making it out to be. Imagine getting hit by a 70 foot wave. As high as a tsunami. The boat actually went on its side, and thankfully flipped back to normal. If you go on a cruise, you don't want to be kicked out of your cabin because it was destroyed. People were sleeping in the hallways and lobby's because they had no where else to go.

February 26th, 2010, 01:56 PM
So an almost 100,000 ton ship with a 27 foot draft rolled 90 degrees, and righted itself? Not one fatality?