On December 15 during the 3 p.m. bridge opening at the Simpson Bay Bridge in Port St. Maarten, the 86-meter M/Y Ecstasea “veered too much to the right and collided with the booth causing structural damage,” according to the Port St. Maarten press release.
The bridge operator managed to jump out of the booth just in time and was unharmed, according to local paper The Daily Herald. The vessel took out some blue guard railings as well in the incident.
There were no injuries, and the damage was limited to the vessel. The bridge operational equipment remains intact and fully functional. Videos on social media show an open observation platform colliding and knocking most of the booth structure into the water.
“The extent of the structural damage to the bridge control booth is still being assessed. However, we are pleased to report that the bridge itself has sustained limited damage and is fully functional,” says the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, and Telecommunications in the press release. “The bridge operations will continue as normal for the high tourist season as we welcome our tourists and maritime community to our shores.”
Port St. Maarten personnel have carried out a preliminary assessment and are working toward repairing the booth.
Photo: Courtesy of Port St. Maarten