Coast Guard deciding if storm-damaged ‘Anthem of the Seas’ can sail

The cruise ship that was battered by a major storm earlier this month has turned around midtrip to avoid another squall in the Atlantic Ocean.

The cruise ship that was battered by a major storm earlier this month has turned around midtrip to avoid another squall in the Atlantic Ocean. (2/12/16)

BAYONNE - The Coast Guard is inspecting a cruise ship that was battered and damaged by an intense winter storm to determine if it can sail.

Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe says inspectors on Friday examined part of the Anthem of the Seas' propulsion system that had to be replaced. The left azipod was rendered inoperable during the storm, which packed hurricane-force winds and wave heights of 30 feet. An azipod is a propeller that's mounted to a steerable pod that contains an electric motor.

Rowe says that, along with safety equipment and doors and windows that were damaged, must meet standards before the vessel can sail as scheduled on Saturday.

Alyssa White is scheduled to be a passenger on the ship. She tells News 12 New Jersey that she is worried the ship won’t be repaired in time for the scheduled 3 p.m. departure.

"We're doing a girls trip with my mom and two aunts. So we've been looking forward to it for over six months,” she says. “Obviously safety is the concern. We want to make sure that the ship is seaworthy."

The 1,141-foot ship returned early to its homeport of Bayonne on Wednesday night with 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members.

The Coast Guard will resume inspections Saturday morning. Passengers are due to arrive around 10 a.m.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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