Cruise ship tender hits reef

Wednesday January 27, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Passengers from the tender which became stuck on the reef were helped to the beach by the MS Amsterdam’s captain and crew. The tender can be seen in the background towards the stern of the ship. 16012609 Passengers from the tender which became stuck on the reef were helped to the beach by the MS Amsterdam’s captain and crew. The tender can be seen in the background towards the stern of the ship. 16012609

A tender ferrying passengers from the cruise ship MS Amsterdam became stuck on the reef at Arorangi yesterday afternoon.

The tender, with 90 passengers aboard, ran into problems while attempting to transport passengers to the beach to join afternoon tours.

An attempt was made to pull the boat off the reef using another tender, but it proved unequal to the task and the Ports Authority tug boat Toa was summoned from Avatiu to free the vessel.

Six passengers were initially brought to shore aboard a lifeboat, but when conditions became too rough, the cruise ship’s captain and crew took water out to the tender, then helped the remaining passengers walk to shore.

Turama Pacific Destination Management, Nina Webb said afternoon tours had been cancelled as a result of the incident.

Bill Murphy and Robert Rye from New Jersey in the US were aboard the tender when it struck the reef.

“The tender was coming in. It got right into the passage way and then a wave came and pushed it onto the reef and it got stuck,” said Murphy.

“Once we were stuck on the reef, the waves would come and just push us further onto the reef.

“Originally when we came in, the boat was stuck facing the island, but each wave kept pushing it, causing to turn the opposite way.” 

Said Robert Rye: “They sent one tender to help pull the tender out but there was too much weight so they had to call in the tug boat.

“The crew asked if people could possibly leave the boat and swim to shore to make it lighter to pull it off, but the tender still didn’t seem to be moving.

“The ship’s captain, first mate, hotel manager and other crew members came out to bring water to the people stuck on the tender then helped offload some of them on to the reef so they could walk to the shore.

“Everybody was fine on the boat and made a good laugh out of the situation as we all put on our life jackets.

“It was totally unexpected, but it was a good adventure and something to talk about.

“We are all just very thankful that no-one was seriously injured; just a few cuts and dents from walking on the reef, but nothing too bad.”

A spectator watching the dramatic incident said the tug boat had done a good job of freeing the tender.

“They were fighting an outgoing tide and I didn’t they’d be able to get it off, but they eventually did it.”

Earlier in the day the MS Amsterdam attempted to disembark passengers off Avatiu harbour, but was forced to travel on to Arorangi as the sea was too rough.

The ship was carrying 1150 passengers and 650 crew members on day 21 of a 115-day world cruise.

The ship’s next destination is New Zealand.        


  • Comment Link donald livingston Thursday, 26 May 2016 15:16 posted by donald livingston

    my wife and i were on the tender my wife had her dream come true rescued at sea by 3 maori policemen[rugby players] on a zodiak and carried to safety i was left to fend for myself she was lifted off the tender and zodiak we just arrived home from the world cruise on the amsterdam and then stayed on to vancouver the highlight of my wifes cruise

  • Comment Link Trish Tuesday, 10 May 2016 03:48 posted by Trish

    Glad it all went well and everyone was ok. Got a lot to tell you I will call you later. , trish

  • Comment Link Nancy Friday, 04 March 2016 13:18 posted by Nancy

    We were on this tender. The crew acted professionally and, to my knowledge, no one was injured, except for a few scratches and bruises when slipping and falling on the coral as we walked into shore. We received medical aid there on the shore. Holland America gave each person $250 ship's credit, 3 bottles of wine, and chocolates as recompense for the episode. To my knowledge, no one was talking lawsuits.

    We cruise with HAL exclusively because of their professionalism and excellent service. These officers and crew are a fine example of those qualities.

  • Comment Link Mary Monday, 01 February 2016 16:44 posted by Mary

    Mike Mac please "Get Real". Why on earth would we do that? We are fine and well, the Captain and crew did wonderful.

  • Comment Link Geoff Sunday, 31 January 2016 22:25 posted by Geoff

    On the 25th of April 2013, I was on board the HAL MS VEENDAM stopping off at the San Blas Islands having just exited the Panama Canal. The tender was being used to ferry the passengers from ship to the island when the tender driver went on the incorrect side of the marker buoys and ended up on the rocks. Damage was two propellers and part of the steering system. What got me "peeved" was that pars were "robbed" from a life-boat, the life-boat that I was allocated and now totally unsafe.
    The Indonesian crews need to be better trained, especially sea navigation. "God knows" what would happen if a real emergency was to happen?

  • Comment Link SusanCotton Thursday, 28 January 2016 09:40 posted by SusanCotton

    A couple of years ago we were in the Caribbean tendering into Sanana in the Dominican Republic and our tender went dead in the water. The waves were really whipping us around. We had to step off one tender on to the rescue tender. Easier talked about then done. The crew acted very professional and were very well trained. Got us all off the stranded tender and on to the rescue tender without any instances.

  • Comment Link Bob Campau Thursday, 28 January 2016 08:06 posted by Bob Campau

    We've been on several ms Amsterdam World Cruises with the same Captain & officers. It doesn't surprise me that the Captain & his crew went out to assist - they're all very fine, admirable men who always place passenger safety at the top of their priority list. Hat's off to Captain Mercer & crew!!

  • Comment Link Bradley Elliott Thursday, 28 January 2016 03:03 posted by Bradley Elliott

    Let me assure you if I was ever stuck on a reef, I would want the crew of the Amsterdam in charge. Over the years 2006 - 2015 I have personally sail on the Amsterdam over 700 days. Her crew is likely to be the most experienced and professional crew on the high seas. Never forget when you are cruising, ship happens.

  • Comment Link Mike Mac Thursday, 28 January 2016 02:50 posted by Mike Mac

    A good company, but unfortunately everyone on that tender will be demanding a free cruise or something like that.

  • Comment Link Johnnie Tangaroa Wednesday, 27 January 2016 17:52 posted by Johnnie Tangaroa

    Yes, there are times where an unexpected incident like this would occur and thankfully, no one was seriously injured.

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