Published on Friday, December 20, 2013

Carnival says its ships are seaworthy

Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald has said his ships are safe, after a court was told the organization knew of fire risk on Carnival Triumph.

In a conference call, Donald maintained: "Our ships are safe, sound and seaworthy."

The ship lost power after an engine room fire in February, just days after Carnival Cruise Lines is alleged to have known there was a risk Carnival Triumph could catch fire, according to court documents.

A compliance notice report was sent to the ship a month before fire broke out, on February 10.

The report recommended spray shields be installed on engines' flexible fuel hoses, according to the documents filed in a Miami federal court this week.

A leak from an engine hose led to the fire, as the ship returned from Cozumel, Mexico. No one was injured, but the fire disabled the ship.

Lawyers for some of the 4,000 passengers described the situation as a "floating hell", according to a report in USA Today.

"Passengers described unsanitary conditions after the fire, as toilets stopped functioning and an unbearable stench drove many to camp out on the decks.

"The weary travelers finally disembarked in Alabama on February 15," USA Today added.

The documents, first reported by CNN, are part of a lawsuit that was filed in February against Carnival Cruise Lines and its parent Carnival Corporation on behalf of dozens of the Triumph's passengers.

The court heard Carnival gave the ship until February 28 to comply with the recommendations.

In a statement, Carnival told USA Today the ship's engines passed inspection before departure and its own recommendation to install spray shields on flexible fuel lines was beyond any required safety measures.

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