By Melinda Munson
A rockslide occurred at Railroad Dock at approximately 6:30 a.m., within close proximity of the Discovery Princess. No one was injured and according to Jacqueline Taylor-Rose, marketing manager for White Pass & Yukon Route, the ship received “slight cosmetic damage.”
The slide happened south of the current mitigation area. Steward Stephens, port manager for Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska, said that while landslides “could happen anywhere,” Thursday’s incident “was a surprise.”
Stu and Amy Eddings, passengers from California, were on the starboard side of the Discovery when the rocks hit.
“We were heading down into the elevator,” Stu said. “All of a sudden, the ship shuttered. But we knew the ship was already tied up at the dock. So, we didn’t know if we’d been hit by another ship.”
Eddings said when he looked down off a balcony, he saw the landslide just 30 feet to the right of a small group of people. From the 15th level, Eddings noted chipped windows and pieces of broken rock.
“It could have been catastrophic. It could have been a mess,” Eddings surmised, if the slide had happened later in the day with a busier dock.
Passengers from the Discovery were tendered to the Small Boat Harbor, 190 people at a time. The cruise has an estimated 3,500 people on board. The Quantum of the Sea, scheduled to dock on Railroad at 9 a.m., turned back after the slide.
Tyler-Rose said a geo-engineer arrives tomorrow to assess the hillside so White Pass may “begin repairs.” Railroad Dock will remain closed to passenger and vehicle traffic.
For June 24, the Carnival Miracle is assigned to the Railroad Aft with guests tendered to the Small Boat Harbor. The Ruby Princess will dock at Broadway and the Norwegian Jewel will dock at Ore Dock.
The Eddings plan on enjoying their time in Skagway.
“We’ll be fine,” Stu said. “We’re happy to be here.”