While there might seem to be plenty of room for everyone out on the open ocean, a marine traffic incident almost led to a group of jet skiers getting run over by a Carnival Cruise Line ship in a Florida harbor.
According to the Port Canaveral Harbor Pilot Association, one of its pilots and a Brevard County Sheriff Marine Unit deputy saved two people out on personal watercraft on Friday who found themselves in the path of the Carnival Cruise ship Magic.
The harbor pilot was navigating the ship out of the port when he saw two women on a jet ski within the navigation channel. He radioed the sheriff’s deputy who was operating a patrol boat nearby for help.
A cruise ship passenger caught the next tense moments on video, in which you can hear passengers urging the jet skiers to “get in, get in!” as the deputy tried to help them onto his craft with the cruise ship getting closer by the second.
The jet ski flipped, dumping the passengers into the water, “in extremely close proximity to the bow of the ship” that was “bearing down on their position.”
The harbor pilot worked with the bridge team for the cruise ship to direct the vessel away from the jet skiers while the deputy pulled them aboard his patrol boat and sped away from the cruise ship.
Passengers aboard the ship can be heard saying that the cruise ship then ran over the jet ski that was left behind.
“I’ve had some close calls with small pleasure boats,” the harbor pilot told Florida Today. “This was the first time with people in the water, almost right in front of you.”
As a reminder, if you see a cruise ship and you’re on a much tinier vessel, don’t try to get up close and personal with it.
“If someone gets too close to one of these cruise ships when they’re not supposed to, there’s no way it’s going to be safe, “Port Canaveral Chief Executive Officer John Murray told Florida Today.
Still think you’d like to check out a cruise ship up close? Check out the video of the last-second rescue: