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Tug-assisted Costa ship avoids calamity in Venice storm

Article-Tug-assisted Costa ship avoids calamity in Venice storm

costa deliziosa
Costa Deliziosa continued on its itinerary following Sunday's incident
A dramatic cruise ship near-miss in Venice's Giudecca Canal — this one caused by a violent storm — ended without calamity Sunday thanks to additional safety measures implemented following the MSC Opera incident.

Costa Deliziosa's course was altered by sudden, strong gusts buffeting the Lagoon. However, three heavy-duty tugs tied to the ship provided immediate assistance. According to Costa Cruises, the captain was able to maintain control in the extreme circumstances.

Tugs correct the course

Videos show Costa Deliziosa veering close to the bank of the Canal and a large moored yacht. The ship's horn blared to alert craft including ferries, which were able to stay clear, and the course was corrected with the help of the tugs.

Costa Deliziosa then continued on its itinerary.

Italian Coast Guard officials in Venice were scheduled to meet with local judicial authorities on Monday to report the event, as required.

New measures following MSC Opera incident

The incident came about one month after MSC Opera lost control, grazing the pier at San Basilio and ramming Uniworld's River Countess. The investigation into that continues. Meanwhile, as a result, new regulations were instituted for cruise ships accessing Stazione Marittima via Giudecca Canal.

Tugs, speed restrictions and more

These require the use of two to three tugs — one tied to the bow and one or two to the stern — with towing capabilities based on the cruise ship's tonnage. Speed is limited to 8 knots in the Lagoon and 5 knots within the Giudecca Canal.

Other measures require bridge personnel to maintain continuous communication with the engine control room, procedures to keep the ship to the reduced speed limits and training and checks in the 48 hours before entering the Lagoon.

The Coast Guard can prohibit transits when wind speeds exceed 20 knots.

After Sunday's event, the Port Authority System said it will evaluate additional actions to ensure safety.