The Island Escape ferry has been involved in an accident Monday night, December 6, and will need time before resuming service.
According to the crew aboard the ferry, the control system had failed, which caused the vessel to drift for a while and soon after, had collided with the docked AIDA Cruises' ship AIDAluna, at St John’s Harbour (Antigua).
The owner of Island Escape, Capt. Mark Rosandich, said that no one had been injured during the accident and the damage on the ship would take a few days to repair.
Rosandich added that the cause of the control failure had been diagnosed and was being rectified. It was anticipated the vessel would be back in service by the end of the week.
The ferry's engineer, Adian Gittens reported that while heading for docking at Heritage Quay at ~5:30 pm (~1:30 pm UTC) on Monday, Island Escape had "unexpectedly lost control of both port and starboard steering ahead and astern electro-hydraulic system."
“Although several attempts were made to regain control of the vessel, she made contact with MV AIDA LUNA. Initial checks were made and observation of low voltage was observed at both of the jet control module digital screens.”
With further estimation, he said that it seemed the power interlock module had sensed a high voltage caused by a malfunctioning battery charger and cut power to both jet control modules. That had caused them to lose control of the vessel until rebooting of the system had been done.
The damage to the ferry will cost ~USD 15,000 while there are still no reports about the damage caused on AIDAluna.
The accident should be investigated by Marine Services and Merchant Shipping's Antigua and Barbuda Department, according to Port Manager Darwin Telemaque. The report will then be presented to the Port Authority for commendations.
The 150-passenger ferryboat was recently upgraded, as a necessity prior to recommencing service to Antigua and Barbuda. To reestablish the water bridge between Montserrat Island UK (Little Bay) and Antiqua, the ferry had to go through it in order to obtain international sailing certification.
For more AIDAluna incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.