Fort Lauderdale homeowners say cruise ship came too close

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The owners of a portside Fort Lauderdale home are used to the view of incoming and outgoing cruise ships through Port Everglades, but they said one of them came too close on Tuesday.

Yasmine Todhunter ran out of her home and began recording the approaching vessel on her cellphone. She was startled by its proximity to her home.

“Oh, (expletive)! Too close, too close, get out,” she can be heard saying in the recording.

The video captures the Celebrity Equinox’s getting closer and closer to Todhunter’s patio.

“This thing is coming to the house, and I was really worried,” she said. “I was worried about my husband. I was worried about the dogs, and I was worried about the house.”

Yasmine and her husband, Bill, said they’ve never experienced anything like it in their seven years living there.

“Never seen that close, you know. Yeah, we’ve seen them come, what we call close, but never to where the ship has had to stop, put itself into reverse, back out into the channel and eventually go back to sea,” Bill said.

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises’ parent company, released a statement that read in part, “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 ship operated safely and did not put guests or crew at risk. We can also confirm the ship did not touch bottom.”

But Bill didn’t buy their statement. “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,” Bill said.

The Coast Guard said there are no regulations regarding how close a ship can come to the seawall. However, if it had grounded, the crew would have to report it.

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