Well, I can go ahead and add “giant cruise ship hauling ass directly toward me while I gaze over the ocean from a dock” to the list of things I need to be unreasonably afraid of. And I’m sure everyone who was standing on this dock in Venice while 65,o00 ton cruise ship MSC Opera barreled toward them with no sign of slowing down now feel the same way.
On June 2, the 2100 passenger cruise ship laid on its horn as it came crashing into a busy dock in Venice, Italy, the Washington Post reports. Onlookers who happened to have the misfortune of admiring the beautiful Sunday morning Giudecca Canal view suddenly found themselves running for their lives in what is one of the most terrifying things I’ve seen in a while.
Giant cruise ships are, in my eyes, are unnatural abominations to begin with. There is no sane reason why thousands of tons of metal should be floating across the ocean for fun. They are a gigantic and often gross fuck yous gliding over a remarkable and fragile natural world.
“The MSC ship had an engine failure, which was immediately reported by the captain,” Davide Calderan, head of a tugboat company involved in accompanying the ship into its berth, told Italian media.
“The engine was blocked, but with its thrust on, because the speed was increasing,” he said.
The two tug boats that had been guiding the ship into the Giudecca tried to slow it, but one of the chains linking them to the giant snapped under the pressure, he added.
There isn’t any other information—but you have to wonder when that technical issue hit. Was it before or after the MSC Opera also crashed into a river boat before it made its way to the dock? And what, exactly, persuaded the captains of the boat to try to moor if they knew something had gone wrong?
Four tourists suffered minor injuries, port authorities said, all of them aged between 67 to 72.
This event has kicked up more controversy about tourism in Venice, with many people believing that congested tourist attractions have been contributing to the rapid erosion of the city. A giant cruise ship crashing into one of its docks likely isn’t going to do much for the “actually, tourism is okay” crowd.