Cruise ship smacks into San Francisco's Pier 27, thousands on board

A cruise ship remains docked in San Francisco after it smashed into a pier Thursday morning. 

A spokesperson with Princess Cruises tells KTVU they are awaiting clearance from the U.S. Coast Guard to see if the ship is deemed fit to sail. As of 9:40 p.m., no departure timeframe was confirmed. 

Thousands of travelers were on the cruise ship early Thursday morning when it smacked into San Francisco's Pier 27, causing a gash in its underside, a Princess Cruises spokesperson said. 

Despite the "unexpected contact," Princess Cruises spokeswoman Briana Latter said in a statement that there were no injuries to passengers or crew members.

The cruise ship was sailing with 3,328 guests and 1,159 crew members when it collided with the pier at 6:05 a.m., she said. Travelers were allowed to get off the ship, as scheduled, at 11:30 a.m.

Most passengers said they didn't know about the collision. Some felt the jolt, but did not know anything was amiss. 

"We had gotten up and we were in our stateroom and I just felt a bump and thought, ‘here we are,’" said Melinda Van Nort, a passenger on the Ruby Princess. "Just felt like a little nudge that we'd run into something."

A dent in the port side rear is visible, and Latter said officials are currently assessing other damage to both the ship and the pier.

Photos shared by Paul Zasso showed that there were some black, circular smudges on the bottom of the white ship.

The U.S. Coast Guard is running two parallel investigations – one into how the collision occurred, and another to make sure the ship was safe to set sail. The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed it is also investigating the incident. 

The San Francisco Bar Pilots confirmed that the ship was under the command of a bar pilot at the time of the collision. They said they are cooperating with all necessary agencies looking into the matter. 

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From: KTVU FOX 2

Latter said the cruise line is working with the Coast Guard to get clearance to sail to Alaska for another scheduled trip.

"We are keeping our Ruby Princess guests up to date with the latest information as we receive it," she said.

Latter said the cruise line's technical experts and shoreside team will continue working on the situation. 

Crews spent the day restocking the ship. Some passengers felt confident the ship is seaworthy. 

"I saw the picture of the damage," said Thang Le. "It looks to me like it's OK. Get a good welder, maybe an hour or two."

Latter said the cruise line will provide a "goodwill gesture of compensation" once they know more about how passengers are affected by the change of schedule. 

The ship had just completed its 10-day journey to Alaska, which left San Francisco on June 26.


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