Five of the 130 passengers on tourist ship River Countess were reported as injured as a result of the vessel being struck by cruise ships MSC Opera on Sunday morning June 2nd in the port of Venice.
Four were tourists, aged between 67 and 72 years. Of these, an American woman was discharged after first aid treatment. The other three were a New Zealand and two Australian. One of these, a 67-year-old, was being evaluated by doctors. The others suffered orthopaedic trauma either through falling or while fleeing from the impact.
MSC Opera, which was arriving from Corfu, struck the much smaller tourist vessel River Countess while the latter was berthed at the Venice Passenger Terminal.
Despite the assistance of two tugs – Lourdes C and Elma C – the ship veered off course in the canal of Giudecca at San Basilio. The cruise ship apparently developed a technical problem under which the engine telegraph was blocked to increase ahead thrust. Despite dropping port side anchor, the vessel hit River Countess bow to bow. The smaller ship was pried loose was pushed along the quay. MSC Opera scraped hard along the berth, scattering tourists on the quay. until finally grinding to a halt.
MSC Opera suffered damage to her starboard side from scraping the quay and to her port side bow from striking the smaller vessel.
River Countess was also damaged, as was the quay, with the latter suffering considerable damage to its concrete infrastructure.
2004-built, Panama-flagged, 65,591 gt MSC Opera is owned by Newco Opera SA care of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co of Geneva, Switzerland. ISM manager is MSC Cruise Management UK Ltd of Uxbridge, UK. It is entered with West Of England Club (Claims Team 2) on behalf of Newco Opera SA. It is entered for H&M with SIAT SpA on behalf of MSC Cruise SA, with Gard having a subscription position.