The United States Coast Guard has determined that the New Bedford-based vessel Gaby Ga 92-foot fishing boat, struck the midsection of the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship 41 nautical miles east of Nantucket early Saturday as passengers were woken by a loud boom.
New Bedford attorney Paul Santos and his wife were in a cabin above where the collision occurred.
“It was around 2:30 a.m. when I woke up because nature called me. I had just arrived in the bathroom, when this huge noise of “bang” broke the night calm and the cruise ship started to vibrate from the center,” Santos said. . “Everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly, then the ship started to tilt to one side. Soon the ship over-corrected, knocking things off tables and shelves onto the floor .”
Santos, who is also a WBSM replacement host and local TV show personality, initially thought an engine had malfunctioned.
“We went out to the balcony to see what had happened, but they had an entire section cordoned off, preventing us from seeing anything,” he said. “Most disheartening was the lack of communication the passengers received from the captain. Not a single announcement to tell us anything, anything! It was so frustrating. The only announcement heard was ‘Delta Code, Code Delta “.”
Santos said any news they received on board came only from friends and relatives at home monitoring the situation.
“Staff went down a tender vessel to assess the damage. Everyone was asking them what happened and the only answer we got was, ‘It’s fine, ladies and gentlemen.’
The cruise liner sat for a few hours, when all the engines suddenly ran full throttle.
“From a dead beginning, the pearl kicked into high gear and started crossing the ocean at breakneck speed,” Santos said. “I guess the cruise line wanted to make up for lost time and reached the Bermuda port on time at which we were to arrive.”
Santos described the weather as foggy with heavy showers.
A man on board the fishing boat suffered a laceration to the head and was treated at the scene. The Gaby G was able to return to New Bedford without assistance. Officials say at this time it is not known what caused the accident.
“It’s definitely the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to us on a trip,” Santos said.