Coast Guard looking into cruise ships' near miss

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a reported near miss by two cruise ships entering Juneau harbor Sunday morning.

Witnesses told the Coast Guard the 867-foot Legend of the Seas was headed for the Juneau cruise ship dock, and the 965-foot Infinity was headed for the Franklin Street Dock when the two came too close to one another.

Lt. Cmdr. Joe Paitl of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Juneau said the agency received phone calls from residents shortly after the incident occurred about 10 a.m., and received additional calls throughout the week.

Investigating officers will be in Ketchikan today, where the ships are docked, talking to pilots, passengers, crew members and the harbormaster. Paitl did not know how long the investigation will take.

If the ships came too close to one another due to negligence, Paitl said, the Coast Guard's options could range from charging the cruise lines with civil penalties or establishing a safety zone within the harbor.

Royal Caribbean Cruises operates the Legend of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises operates the Infinity.

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