Florida homeowners say cruise ship came within 100 feet of porch

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FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (WSVN/WFOR/CNN) – The owners of a port-side home in Florida had a major scare Friday when a cruise ship came much closer to their house than normal.

Cell phone video taken by Yasmine Todhunter shows just how close the Celebrity cruise ship Equinox came to her and her husband’s backyard.

Bill Todhunter was getting the garbage can from the street when he realized something was wrong.

“I looked up, and I knew something was wrong because I was looking up at the bow of the boat,” he said.

The homeowner says the ship was towering over his house. He ran to the deck and waved at the ship as Yasmine Todhunter filmed.

"This thing is coming to the house, and I was really worried. I was worried about my husband, I was worried about the dogs and I was worried about the house,” Yasmine Todhunter said.

The video shows the ship’s front thrusters churning the water, apparently trying to slow its approach.

The couple says they’ve never experienced anything like that in the seven years they’ve lived at the home.

"Never seen anything that close. You know, yeah, we've seen them come what we would call close but never to where the ship has had to stop, put itself into reverse, back out into the channel and then eventually go back to sea,” Bill Todhunter said.

The couple was worried the ship hit the seawall, but Royal Caribbean, Celebrity’s parent company, released a statement saying the ship did not hit bottom.

“As Equinox departed on Friday, March 3, she was in her assigned channel at all times under the guidance of specialized local port pilots. The ship operated safely and did not put guests or crew at risk,” the statement read, in part.

Bill Todhunter says he doesn’t believe the statement.

“I would like to question that. When you see that thing, having to go into reverse, back out, and all the mud and all the silt from the bottom being churned up, there's no way that thing didn't touch bottom,” he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard says there are no restrictions on how close a ship can get to a seawall, but if the ship struck ground, it would have had to report it.

Copyright 2017 WSVN, WFOR, Bill and Yasmine Todhunter via CNN. All rights reserved.

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