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Docking Accident in Naples Injures Many Ferry Passengers

Italian ferry accident
Emergency services responding after the ferry hit the dock (Italian TV screen image)

Published Apr 19, 2024 11:12 AM by The Maritime Executive

 

Italian authorities were responding to multiple injuries among the passengers aboard a high-speed ferry that slammed into the dock this morning while arriving in Naples. Initial reports were that 44 passengers were injured with 29 having been transported to local hospitals. One passenger was initially listed in critical condition but later reports said the passenger had been upgraded to stable condition at the hospital.

The shipping company Caremar reported that emergency protocols were in place and the response was underway to the situation. Italian authorities reported that they were still accessing several hundred passengers who had been aboard the ferry. An investigation and interviews were also already underway.

The high-speed ferry Isola di Procida (1,900 tons) departed the isle of Capri off the western coast of Italy shortly after 0900 local time for the one-hour trip to Naples. The ferry which was built in 199 has a capacity for 620 passengers as well as 45 cars. It makes the crossing to the Italian mainland at speeds up to 25 knots. Capri is a popular tourist destination with many vacationers using the ferry.

 

 

Passengers are reporting that it was very windy during the crossing and waves were running at up to 6.5 feet (2 meters). They theorized that there was a strong gust of wind as the vessel was maneuvering and backing into the dock in Naples. Passengers were standing waiting to disembark when the impact happened and many were thrown to the deck. More than 100 healthcare personnel responded and were treating the injured passengers.

The media reports are saying the strong winds were complicating the docking maneuver. The vessel appears to have lost control slamming into the dock. TV reports show several dents and a small gash in the hull of the vessel. 

The Port of Naples Authority and the Coast Guard immediately launched an investigation. They said they would be looking into a possible mechanical failure, human error, or a sudden change in weather and sea conditions during the docking maneuver.