Celebrity cruise ship gets too close to house

A Broward County couple had reason to worry as the massive ship approached.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Celebrity cruise ship Equinox appeared to be making a beeline for Bill and Yasmine Todhunter’s patio as it left Port Everglades Friday afternoon.

Hubby Bill was getting the garbage can from the street.

“I looked up and I knew something was wrong, because I was looking up at the bow of the boat,” Todhunter said.

As he ran through the house to the rear deck of their waterfront home, Yasmine Todhunter grabbed her cellphone and began recording video.

“I said to myself, ‘This boat is coming to the house, this boat is coming to the house!’” Yasmine Todhunter told CBS4.  “I was screaming, ‘Bill get out of the way, get out of the way!’”

The video shows thruster engines on the front of the ship apparently trying to slow its approach.  The Todhunters had plenty to be concerned about.

“It had come aground. There was potential damage to seawalls, decks, foundations, I didn’t know how hard it had struck,” Bill said.

Celebrity’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises, issued a statement saying the ship was navigating “…under the guidance of local port pilots. The ship operated safely… We can also confirm the ship did not touch bottom.”

The Todhunters say that’s nonsense.

“When you see that thing, having to go into reverse, back out, and all the mud and muck from the bottom being turned up, there’s no way that thing didn’t touch bottom,” Bill said.

Their home overlooks the waterway as ships come to and from Port Everglades, usually at a distance of hundreds of yards away.

The couple believes Friday’s “near miss” demands an investigation by somebody.

The Todhunters said they called Royal Caribbean and Port Everglades and received no response.

The Coast Guard said ships that are involved in a collision or grounding of any sort must report it. They said Celebrity made no report of Friday’s incident. CBS4 supplied them with copies of the videos, and the Coast Guard may or may not open an investigation.

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