Heavy weather damage to passenger cruise ship Pacific Star

Location: Off Auckland, New Zealand.

Accident Investigation Report 5/2008

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

PacificStarReport.pdf (2,050.41 kb)

Annexes (309.10 kb)


Pacific Star sailed from Auckland, New Zealand, in the late afternoon of 10 July 2007. Overnight the ship experienced easterly winds in excess of 90 knots, and a swell height of more than 5 metres. As a result, the vessel suffered damage to internal fittings and to a number of windows in cabins and public spaces, as well as structural damage to the forecastle bulwark and the loss of a satellite communications dome. Significantly, the rough weather also exacerbated pre-existing corrosion damage causing the ship to take water through small holes in the side.

Safety Issues

The coating in the forepeak tank had broken down over time and excessive corrosion in way of the internal water line area had resulted in leakage through the hull. The potential for increased corrosion in this area of the tank had not been identified during surveys even though it had been necessary to replace steel work in other areas of the tank. Further leakage had occurred through holes in the shell in way of ventilation ducts. These were designed, built and maintained in such a way that internal visual inspection of the ship’s side in this area was impossible.


Recommendations have been made to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) concerning preparation for survey, including accessibility and provision of information to surveyors. A further recommendation has been made to Princess Cruises to review the scope and application of its defect reporting systems.

This report was published on 29 February 2008.

Published 23 January 2015