According to two recent reports ready by our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys from both CNN and the Associated Press, Carnival knew that its now infamous Triumph ship posed a substantial risk of fire due to delays in the maintenance of its diesel engines and fuel lines, but allowed the ship to set sail anyway. More than 4,000 passengers and crew members became stranded aboard the Triumph in February of 2013 after a fire knocked out the ship’s power. The ship drifted for four days without air conditioning, and only had limited lights, water, food and working toilets, before it was towed to Mobile, Alabama.
According to the AP article, Triumph’s captain, Angelo Los, admitted in a November 22nd, 2013, deposition that he had been notified by Carnival that there had been problems with the ships flexible fuel hoses leaking. Los stated that he believed Carnival had known about the leaks since March of 2012. When confronted with a “compliance notice report” dated January 2nd, 2013, that recommended that spray shields be installed on engines’ flexible fuel hoses, Los confesses that the suggested spray guards were only a makeshift measure to deal with leaking fuel lines and had not even been installed on the engine that caught fire.
In response to the allegations that it was aware of the Triumph’s safety issues, Carnival stated, “The leak in the flexible fuel hose was a completely unexpected accident that took place. What ignited the fuel is unknown.” Carnival referred to the spray guards as the “best practice to avoid fires.” Carnival also claimed that the compliance notice only referenced fuel lines above the engine room floor, whereas the leak that disabled the Triumph occurred on a fuel hose beneath the engine room floor.
Carnival’s current debacle is yet another in a seemingly never-ending string of cruise mishaps, made worse by cruise liners continued policy of denial and concealment of such issues. As this blog recently discussed, although some cruise liners are now volunteering statistics regarding the safety of their vessels, those companies are unscrupulously artificially deflating crime numbers and diluting crime statistics through several underhanded tactics.
Cruise companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for their passengers and the failure to do so may entitle the injured party to compensation. Despite enhanced safety measures and new policies designed to ensure passenger safety, cruising can be a risky activity.
Cruise ship accidents are becoming more and more common, rendering the need for experienced legal counsel for those injured in such accidents increasingly important.
The Florida cruise ship accident attorneys of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. are licensed to practice law in all of Florida’s state and federal courts and has been representing the victims of cruise ship accidents for over four decades. If you or someone you know has been injured in a cruise ship accident, contact the Florida maritime accident lawyers of Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today.