Monday, February 11, 2013

Global Impact: Carnival's Mega-Ship Adrift Off Mexican Coast Following Engine Room Fire

According to EFE, Carnival, the largest cruise ship operator in the world, said today (February 11) that its 900-foot-long Carnival Triumph, with passengers and crew totaling 4,200, may not arrive at the Port of Progreso until Wednesday (February 13) after an engine room fire forced it to be towed by multiple tugs, after its propulsion system was neutralized.

At the time of the fire, the Carnival Triumph found itself adrift some 250 kilometers (155 miles) off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

COMMENT: After setting sail on February 7, from Galveston, TX, the fire will cost Carnival dearly: Passengers will receive a refund, a voucher for another cruise, airfare back to Miami and other costs stemming from the fire.

As I have said so many times in the past, mega-ships designed to carry massive numbers of passengers and crews, increasingly are having to deal with physical plant accidents and breakdowns that previously were unheard of because ships were so much smaller. 

In today's market, health, safety and security should be primary considerations, yet destinations and amenities often trumph those considerations. 

Coincidentally, A lifeboat from a British-operated cruise-ship line, Thomson Cruises,  fell upside down into the sea while in port in Spain's Canary Islands during a safety drill, killing five crew members and injuring three others. 

Around 1,400 passengers were aboard the ship at the time, although none were involved in the accident. Three of the dead were Indonesians, one was a Filipino and another was a man from Ghana. Those injured were taken by ambulance to the general hospital in La Palma.