Florida homeowners say cruise ship came within 100 feet of porch

By Daniel Uria  |  March 8, 2017 at 3:25 PM
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March 8 (UPI) -- A couple living in a waterfront home in South Florida had a close call with a cruise ship they said came within 100 feet of their property.

Yasmine Todhunter shouted "Too close, too close, get out," as the Celebrity Equinox towered over her husband Bill Todhunter who was standing at the edge of the back porch of their Fort Lauderdale home.

"This thing is coming to the house and I was really worried," she told a local news reporter. "I was worried about my husband. I was worried about the dogs, and I was worried about the house."

Bill Todhunter said the cruise ship, which was departing Port Everglades, appeared to come within 100 feet of their home, the closest they had seen a ship get.

"We've been here for six years. We've never seen anything like that," he said. "We've never seen anything that close."

The parent company of Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, released a statement following the incident saying the ship had remained in its proper channel and did not cause damage to the vessel or guests and crew.

"As Equinox departed on Friday, March 3, she was in her assigned channel at all times under the guidance of specialized local port pilots," the company said. "The ship operated safely and did not put guests or crew at risk. We can also confirm the ship did not touch bottom."

Todhunter searched for information about the ship online and dismissed Royal Caribbean's statement as "bogus."

"Definitely not. They say it was within a channel and nobody was at risk and it never touched bottom, and I don't believe that statement at all," he said.

He added that the ship came so close to his home on its approach that passengers were able to hear as he shouted to the ship's crew.

"When the cruise ship's thrusters stopped, there was silence and I yelled, 'Somebody's going to get fired,' and everybody on the cruise started applauding," Todhunter said.

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