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.
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.
BAE Communications Director John Measell sent FOX10 News the following statement:
BAE Systems has carefully reviewed the investigation brief released today by the National Transportation Safety Board for the April 3, 2013, incident involving the disabled cruise ship Carnival Triumph. The ship broke free during an exceedingly rare storm system in which winds in the area were recorded in excess of 100 miles per hour.
BAE Systems continues to extend our condolences to the families impacted by this tragedy.
BAE Systems has closely examined facts surrounding the breakaway including procuring engineering, metallurgical and meteorological assessments that were not available to the NTSB during the fact-finding phase of its investigation. BAE Systems is confident this information will explain that the sequence of events and the actual cause of the breakaway are different than the conclusions the NTSB reached with its limited investigation. BAE Systems is considering a petition for reconsideration, as permitted by NTSB regulations. While we thank the NTSB for the time expended in quickly investigating this unfortunate event, we are hopeful these facts will persuade the NTSB to change their findings and probable cause determination in this incident.