Tag: "Triumph"

Should Carnival pay for the money the US Coast Guard spent rescuing the Triumph cruise ship?

Carnival Corp. says it won’t help the US Coast Guard, even though American taxpayers spent about $780,000 rescuing the Triumph. Carnival’s excuse is that all maritime interests must assist without question those in trouble at sea.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee takes the easy political stance – the big evil corporation should pay or else, “These costs must ultimately be borne by federal taxpayers.” He adds that Carnival appears to pay little or no federal income taxes.

Carnival says its policy is to “honor maritime tradition that holds that the duty to render assistance at sea to those in need is a universal obligation of the entire maritime community.” Carnival claims it frequently aids in rescues at the Coast Guard’s request, including 11 times in the past year in Florida and Caribbean waters.

I suppose Carnival thinks it’s fair. The US Coast Guard doesn’t pay Carnival when the cruise line helps out, so why should the cruise line pay the Coast Guard for any help? On the other hand, Carnival’s ships are not US flagged – CNN said that the Carnival Triumph sails under a Bahamian flag. Is the US required to provide assistance? Sure. Is the US required to provide free assistance to non-US vessels? Maybe not.

The other point worth making is that public opinion is the only leverage the US can really hope for in this case. Clearly the Coast Guard had no choice but to come to the rescue of so many American citizens. Though perhaps next time, they should rescue the people and leave the ship to drift around the ocean. If my car breaks down, I don’t expect a free tow. Why should a huge money-making corporation expect a free tow when their ships break down?

By the way, does anyone know if carnival did anything nice for their employees from the Triumph?

What will Carnival do for their crew members from the Triumph?

As I was reading this article about how bad the passengers had it on the cruise, I kept thinking to myself it had to be much worse for the crew. We get a few lines down a ways in the article:

David Glocker, of Jacksonville, Fla., praised the crew’s efforts to help passengers and recognized the conditions for them were worse than for most passengers because their quarters were on the lowest part of the ship.

“The conditions down there were horrible. They all had to wear masks,” he said. “They worked their butts off trying to get us food.”

I’m sure many will begin debating what Carnival can do make things right. They have offered refunds, another Carnival trip, transportation costs home, and $500 compensation.

But those gestures may not be enough. Less than 24 hours after the boat docked, the first lawsuit was filed against Carnival Corp. by passenger Cassie Terry, who said she feared for her life and worried about falling seriously ill from the raw sewage and spoiled food. Her complaint seeks unspecified damages.

I get that it was bad and as an American, our first insitnct is to sue. And maybe carnival deserves to get sued if they did things wrong or whatever. But I wonder if any crew members want to sue. I wonder what Carnival will do for their crew, the workers who had it much worse than the passengers. They couldn’t sleep on deck, where the smell wasn’t as bad – they were way down there where the smell was probably worst. And they had to work. Who knows how well they ate but if passengers didn’t have much to eat it’s hard to believe the crew had it any better.

And right now, the crew have no work to do – the Triumph is out of action for a while. Will Carnival give them paid vacation so the crew can go home and visit family during the downtime? Maybe pay for their trips home like the passengers get? Maybe a bonus like the 500 bucks the passengers get? Or do the crew get nothing and lose income since they aren’t working at the moment?

What do you think Carnival will do? What do you think they should do?