— -- The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is considering a possible investigation into events surrounding the storm that rocked a cruise ship off the Carolina coast and forced it to turn around.
Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Anthem of the Seas left New Jersey Saturday headed for a week-long trip to the Bahamas, but abandoned its course Monday after experiencing hurricane-force winds and waves reaching 40 feet on Sunday.
Now, after receiving a request from a U.S. senator, the NTSB may investigate in conjunction with another investigation that is already underway.
The NTSB is already investigating the sinking of the cargo ship El Faro in October after it left Florida for Puerto Rico.
"That investigation includes a weather group that is investigating TOTE Maritime’s decision-making processes regarding vessel operations in hurricanes and other heavy weather occurrences," the NTSB said in a statement released Tuesday, referencing the owner of the El Faro.
"The Anthem of the Seas incident may provide us an additional opportunity to learn best practices that cruise line operators employ for operating in heavy weather.”
Where's the Ship Now?
The ship is now headed back to its home port in Bayonne, New Jersey, and is expected to dock at around 9 p.m. tonight.
The U.S. Coast Guard will be inspecting the cruise ship when it arrives back in New Jersey tonight, a Coast Guard spokesman said today.
"The Coast Guard will participate in an investigation that will help determine if there are any contributing causal factors or lessons learned from this event that could help prevent injuries or damage in the future, as occurs with any commercial vessel operating in U.S. waters under similar circumstances," the Coast Guard said in a statement.