A large whale-watching ship smashed into a concrete walkway in San Diego March 31 (video below).
David Gerboth, San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief, said that the Adventure Hornblower called in a mechanical problem that stuck the ship in forward, notes The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In a video filmed by an unidentified bystander, the 150-foot ship honks its horn several times, but people continue to walk directly in front of it, including an elderly woman who is pulled out of the way at the last second by a witness.
According to the Los Angeles Times, would-be passengers were watching the ship from the walkway and waiting for the next tour.
Seven passengers on the ship had minor to severe injuries, and three had to be taken to a local hospital, Gerboth added.
Mike and Deb Ellis were on the ship at the time of the incident. Mike was in a bathroom, while Deb was on the top deck.
“It felt like we were coming in a little hot,” Deb told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Then the boat hit the dock. The next thing I heard was four blasts of the horn ... We hit pretty hard.”
“I feel better now, the medics checked me,” Mike added. “It knocked children on the ground.”
“I saw it coming in fast," Osmond deSousa, who was on the top deck, stated. "It hit the dock, bounced off and continued too fast to stop. The woman next to me fell, she was hurt pretty bad."
“We heard the horns blowing and everyone went flying,” Brianna Buchanan, a passenger on the middle deck, recalled.
“It was exciting," Buchanan added. "Definitely something new."
After about two hours, tug boats eased the ship away from the walkway so that passengers could disembark.
The U.S. Coast Guard and Harbor police are investigating the incident.
“We’re not exactly sure what happened yet,” Jim Unger, general manager of Hornblower Cruises and Events, said. “We’re digging deep into it as any professional company would.”