Report: Hornblower dock damage a safety threat

Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 21:25:37-04

The damage remaining from a Hornblower ship's crash into a dock at the Embarcadero is causing an immediate threat to public safety.

A new report from the Port of San Diego says the March 31 incident caused substantial structural damage to the wharf and an emergency repair is required to provide the public a safe place to walk.

RELATED: Onlookers scramble to safety as ship crashes into downtown San Diego dock

The Coast Guard and NTSB are continuing to investigate the accident, and that means leaving the damage intact -- down to sugar packets lying on the wharf.

The incident sent three people to the hospital and barely missed a woman walking along the docks.

"The reaction was, 'Holy crap.' I mean, how does that happen?" said Clayton Holmes, a tourist who came to see the damage on Friday.

On Thursday, the Port's board of directors will consider an emergency action to investigate the damage. That includes sending divers underneath the dock to see how it's holding up. Then it would hire a contractor to do the work, and send Hornblower the entire bill.

"That's the way it happens and that's how it should be," Holmes said.

Jim Unger, Hornblower's San Diego general manager, said the dock and ships are safe. He also said the company would take responsible for any damage it caused.

The tours were running on Friday, and the line extended around the damage.

"My favorite thing is just being out there on the water," said passenger Dewitt Robinson. "Having a nice cold beer and just relaxing."