Ferry Crashes Into Breakwater at Port of Las Palmas

On Friday at the Port of Las Palmas, the ro/pax ferry Volcán de Tamasite lost control of her heading shortly after leaving her berth, putting her on a collision course with a tall concrete breakwater.

The crew ran out the starboard side anchor (visible in the video) but were not able to halt the vessel's advance. She struck the breakwater, crushing her bow and sending boulder-sized pieces of concrete sliding down onto the pier below. One parked truck was buried by the debris. In addition, the impact damaged several bunkering supply lines that run along the dock, releasing about 15,000 gallons of diesel into the water. The local authorities set up a monitoring committee to oversee the spill response, and vessels from Salvamento Marítimo worked to contain and reduce the oil slick. Aerial patrols on Monday showed that the remaining petroleum has largely dissipated.

As many as 13 passengers sustained injuries that required medical attention. Video posted to social media shows that many others were angered by the circumstances, confronting the crew and demanding to get off the boat as quickly as possible (below, in Spanish).

The vessel's operator, Navios Armas, told El Diario that the Volcán had suffered a two-minute interruption of electrical power, which caused the loss of control. "If the voltage drop had occurred inside the bay or on the high seas, nothing would have happened because it would have recovered immediately . . . Having the dock next to it was what caused the accident," the firm said in a statement.

With electrical service back up, the ferry entered the port under her own power, with tugs standing by as a precautionary measure. As of Sunday, she had been relocated to the Astican shipyard at Las Palmas. Navios Armas seeks to make repairs as quickly as possible so as to minimize the disruption to its routes.


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