Society

Carnival Cruise Says it Will Reimburse Government for Money Spent on Rescues

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Carnival is promising to pay back the U.S. government for the money spent responding to their accidents on the Triumph and Splendor cruise ships, though they have not released the specific amount.

Both of the incidents left thousands of people stranded at sea for days, requiring the Coast Guard to intervene.

Carnival is the world's largest cruise line company. Monday, they said they were making payments to the U.S. Treasury Department even though the government has not requested them to do so.

It seems Carnival was pressured into paying back the money after U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the company was reluctant to respond to his inquiries about paying the government.

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Rockefeller estimated that the Coast Guard spent $780,000 on the Triumph rescue in early 2013, and the 2010 engine fire onboard the Splendor cost the Coast Guard and Navy about $3.4 million. 

Both of these instances left passengers stranded in horrible conditions. 

While their statement on Monday did not specify if they were paying the government back in full, they said they had never flatly rejected the idea of reimbursing them.

"It should be clearly noted that at no point in time has Carnival stated that it would refuse to reimburse federal agencies if they sought renumeration," the statement said.

The company also responded to Rockefeller's questions last week through a series of letters, saying that it is policy during emergency situations to "honor maritime tradition" and ask for assistance from all maritime interests. They also said they frequently participate in rescues when the Coast Guard requests it.

In February, 900-foot Triumph was not running after an engine room fire in the Gulf of Mexico. Thousands were left without power, forced to eat cold food and live in unsanitary conditions. 

In January of 2010, the 952-foot Splendor also had an engine fire that left thousands of passengers in similar conditions for three days in the Pacific Ocean. 

Carnival reimbursed the suffering passengers with refunds and cruise vouchers.

Sources: Fox News, CS Monitor