The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its report on the Norwegian Dawn incident from last April and said that the “probable cause of damage and injuries suffered by its passengers was waves breaking over the bow during the ship’s unavoidable encounter with severe weather and heavy seas”.
The NTSB said that gale force winds and sea conditions are not unexpected while transiting seas off the southeast coast of the U.S. at that time of the year.
Although the sea conditions did not pose a safety hazard for the ship, the NTSB reported that the captain changed the itinerary and slowed the vessel for the passengers’ comfort.
Crew secured gear and closed off the outer decks and properly prepared the vessel for heavy weather, according to statements from officers, while makinga dvisory statements to passengers.
The two cabins that were damaged both face forward and have balconies over the bow area with teakrails supported by welded almninum vertical supports,which failed. The teak hand rails shattered thewindows. Passengers in both cabins were injured, and afoot of seawater entered the cabins, went under the cabins doorsand into the corridor. The total damage was estimated at $750,000.