According to city officials, a cruise ship, 691-foot-long Silversea Silver Spirit, caught up in a heavy sustained wind last week crashed into a Key West mooring. That damaged enough to leave Mallory Square’s port of call unusable for at least three months.
City Manager, Jim Scholl, said that the cruise ship was leaving Mallory Square when the winds stopped it from turning around to get underway on Nov. 27. There were no injuries reported and the ship was not heavily damaged. About the estimated cost of repairs, Scholl said it could be a half-million dollars. However, he did not have the specific and exact figures.
Scholl also informed on Tuesday night that no ships can dock at Mallory Square until a “mooring dolphin,” which is a large concrete block atop pilings that helps in keeping the ships in a line – and away from the pier – when docking, can be replaced by the crews.
Besides the port of call in Mallory Square, Key West also has two other ones: the Outer Mole Pier at Truman Waterfront Park and another at Margaritaville Resort near Mallory Square.
Scholl also said that although the ship wasn’t damaged badly, that mooring dolphin was destroyed. The Coast Guard cleared them to go so that it was able to get underway.
The cruise line sent to Key West an insurance consultant to estimate the damages to the pier the next day and another this week. On the other hand, the city hired some divers from an engineering firm to inspect the damage on last Monday.
Liz Acar who was a witness and live-streamed the ship damage on Facebook that night says that due to the accident, all ships were not currently allowed to dock there.
The cruise ship Silver Spirit, built in 2009 and registered in the Bahamas, can accommodate 608 passengers.