Carnival won’t Reimburse Uncle Sam for Ship Rescues


Carnival (CCL +1.36%), the world’s largest cruise operator, has rejected a request from a powerful U.S. senator that it reimburse the U.S. government for the costs it incurs for rescuing the company’s ships when they become disabled.

According to Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the U.S. Coast Guard has responded to 90 “serious events” involving Carnival ships over the past five years, including the rescue of the Carnival Triumph (pictured) in February and the 2010 operation to assist the Carnival Splendor. The Coast Guard and Navy spent $4.2 million to assist the Triumph and Splendor, which were both hit with power failures, according to a report in quoting Rockefeller.

The Triumph made more news Wednesday after it broke loose from its repair dock during a storm. Sadly, a security guard was knocked into the Mobile River and hasn’t been seen since, according to CNN.

In a letter to Carnival, Rockefeller noted that the company should repay the government for its help because the Panama-based operator pays “little or nothing in federal taxes.” Carnival rejected Rockefeller’s request, arguing its policy is to “honor maritime tradition” to render assistance to those at sea in need of assistance.

Carnival noted that it provides assistance to the Coast Guard when asked. The company also argued that it pays its fair share of fees to local, state and federal agencies.

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One comment

  1. fedlaw206 · April 5, 2013

    We need to hold the cruise ship industry responsible for their actions or inactions. The majority of ships, registered in other countries, are not subject to United States laws/regulations.

    Time to form a functioning committee with all countries involved. A comprehensive plan needs to be developed in regards to safety and maintenance of the ships. The committee would be required to produce a written report and hold a public meeting at least bi-yearly.

    Right now the industry seems to be in sad shape.

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