To shore-side witnesses, it first looked like just another cruise ship docking at Port Coxen Hole on the Honduran island of Roatan.
However, it soon became clear on Tuesday morning that MSC Armonia was coming in way too hot and that one or both forward anchors were deployed in an apparently desperate bid to check the 65,000-ton vessel's momentum.
Moments later, Armonia crashed, tearing a section out of the dock and briefly running aground on the beach behind.
The accident was captured on video and posted by gCaptain, a news service focusing on the marine industry.
According to gCaptain, Armonia's Automatic Identification System tracking data showed the ship "arrived in Roatan from Cozumel, Mexico. The data showed the vessel was doing about 11.6 knots [13.3 mph] on its approach but slowed to 8.7 knots [10 mph] as the vessel came closer to shore."
In an emailed statement to NPR, MSC Cruises said: "While manoeuvring alongside, for reasons that are currently still being duly investigated, the ship deviated from her course and grazed the end of the pier."
In a Facebook Live video posted by Real Deal Roatan Tours, an unidentified narrator says the ship "ran into the rocks."
"She wasn't able to stop and ... literally ran inside, into the bay ... and destroyed the dock," the narrator says, adding jokingly, "Adios Tours."
"There was never any risk for guests or crew on board," the company said in the statement. "As to the ship, the damage was minor. She has also since been cleared by Honduran Port State Control authorities to continue her journey as soon as the necessary repairs are concluded. At the present time, ship personnel and external experts are still at work to complete such repairs."
The website Cruise Fever says the 902-foot Armonia, with a capacity of 2,679 passengers, is currently on a two-week cruise to the Caribbean including Havana, Cuba.
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.