Earlier this week, passengers from the Carnival Triumph’s February 2013 sailing that lost power after suffering a small engine room fire filed a lawsuit against Carnival, claiming the cruise line knew of the dangers that lie ahead.
The lawsuit claims that the Carnival Triumph should have never set sail from Galveston in February, as the ship was “unseaworthy at the commencement of the voyage.” The lawsuit allegedly derives its justification for claiming the ship as unseaworthy from an alleged 2011 internal report of the Carnival Triumph’s maintenance issues. This report was obtained by CNN and shared on the air earlier this week. CNN has not stated when, how, or who they obtained the documents from, nor do they disclose that the maintenance records do not match up with the timeline of the Carnival Triumph’s fire.
While the lawsuit claims that Carnival was acting irresponsible and endangered lives, the lawsuit does lose most credibility considering they are basing many parts of their lawsuit off of an unconfirmed, outdated maintenance report from within Carnival. Carnival, however, states that the Carnival Triumph was in full compliance with SOLAS standards at the time of the February 7, 2013 sailing.
A statement sent from Carnival Corporation to Cruise Currents reveals that the Carnival Triumph underwent inspection from the United States Coast Guard only days before sailing, declaring the ship in compliance with the SOLAS standards. In their statement, Carnival Corporation states, “While this was a difficult situation for our guests and crew, this is a frivolous lawsuit by any measure.”
The statement continues, detailing the Carnival Triumph’s recent tests and inspection undertaken by the United States Coast Guard: “The lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to craft a story that is unsupported by the facts and evidence. The fire was caused by a leak in one of the flexible fuel hoses, which had been replaced only six months earlier. In fact, the Carnival Triumph’s engines and equipment were in full compliance with all regulatory requirements. As an example, the Carnival Triumph’s engines were fully compliant with SOLAS regulations and they were hot-spot free during thermographic testing that was conducted a week before the incident. In addition, the Carnival Triumph’s engines and power plant were regularly inspected by multiple authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard a few days prior to the incident which found the ship to be in full compliance with regulations and cleared the vessel to sail.“
Shortly after the Carnival Triumph’s engine fire, Carnival Corporation announced several new safety enhancements to bolster redundancy and safe operations throughout the fleet. These enhancements included the addition of a second backup generator, new firefighting equipment, the replacement of flexible fuel hoses, among other major safety features.
Carnival Corporation concludes their statement adding, “Our maintenance practices meet and often exceed regulatory requirements. The accident in this situation was just that – an accident. To claim otherwise is simply unfounded and inconsistent with the facts. The safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority and throughout our 41-year history, Carnival has maintained an exemplary safety record while carrying more than 60 million guests.”
Carnival Corporation has also exclusively shared documents with Cruise Currents, proving the Carnival Triumph’s full compliance with SOLAS, United States Coast Guard, and Lloyd’s Register standards prior to sailing on February 7, 2013.