Power outages like the one that sent a Celebrity cruise ship back to port in Seattle for inspection Friday evening are fairly uncommon, officials say.
“It’s very rare that anything like this has happened at the Port of Seattle,” said Peter McGraw, maritime media officer for the port. “I’ve only been doing this 10 years, but in the years that we’ve been handling cruise ships … there’s some occasional minor incidents like this, [but] it’s pretty rare.”
Shortly after departing the cruise terminal, an engine misfire triggered a power surge that caused the Celebrity Solstice to lose power, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Third Class Trevor Lilburn.
“I do not see this very often as far as cruise ships go,” said Lilburn, a spokesman for the Coast Guard.
According to Owen Torres, a spokesman for Celebrity parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises, power on the Solstice was down for about 10 minutes.
For safety reasons, the Coast Guard required the cruise ship to return to port and undergo inspection, Lilburn said.
Upon restarting, the ship returned to port under its own power, Lilburn said. A tug boat accompanied the vessel in case of a second failure, he added, but proved unnecessary.
The ship was back at port by around 8 p.m. and, following inspection by Coast Guard and classification society inspectors, was cleared to leave at about 1 a.m. Saturday, Lilburn said. No follow-up inspections are being required, he added.
“That was the inspection for the captain of the port to authorize their departure,” Lilburn said. “That was the only one we’re requiring.”
Lilburn said the Solstice had 4,331 people aboard and that there were no reported injuries. It was on its way to Ketchikan, Alaska.
“The ship is currently operating normally,” Torres said on Monday. “In an abundance of caution, we worked with the United States Coast Guard to conduct a verification inspection of the ship’s operational safety.”