Cruise Ship

Pacific Encounter

Incident Type

Structural and Technical Issues

Date of Accident

March 3, 2024

Location of Accident

Departing from Lyttelton, New Zealand

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On March 3, 2024, the Pacific Encounter experienced a technical malfunction shortly after departing from Lyttelton, New Zealand, bound for Port Chalmers. This unexpected issue forced the vessel to execute a sudden change in direction, perform two rectangular circuits, and then return to Lyttelton Harbour with the assistance of tugboats.

Details of the Incident

The incident unfolded after 17:40 when the ship, during its departure, encountered a machinery failure, necessitating a prompt response from the crew. Tug Boat Titan and Tug Boat Blackadder were dispatched to assist the cruise ship, ensuring its safe return to the harbor. The presence of the Christchurch Rescue Helicopter in proximity raised concerns, although it did not engage in the operation, indicating the issue was confined to the vessel itself.

Operational Context

This event occurred during the Pacific Encounter’s 14-day “Kiwi Adventure Cruise,” affecting the planned itinerary that included various New Zealand ports. The swift action taken by the crew and the assistance from local maritime services underscore the importance of safety protocols and the readiness to address unexpected technical challenges at sea.

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