Things That Matter

Cruise Ship Trying To Dock In Cozumel, Mexico Crashed Into Another Ship

When you take off on a luxurious vacation, the last thing you want is for chaos to ensue. But last Friday morning, two Carnival Cruise Line ships collided at the port of Cozumel, Mexico, resulting in extensive damages and at least six injuries. In spite of these damages, the company affirms that neither ship was compromised enough to impact its ability to sail, and each injury that was incurred was minor in nature.

“Carnival Glory was maneuvering to dock when it made contact with Carnival Legend which was already alongside,” a spokesperson for the company wrote in a statement. “We are assessing the damage but there are no issues that impact the seaworthiness of either ship.”

At first, only one minor injury had been reported by a guest of Carnival Glory, which evidently occurred during a group evacuation from the dining room of one ship’s decks 3 and 4. But the cruise line said that since its preliminary evaluation, six guests with minor injuries “have presented themselves to the Carnival Glory medical center for evaluation.”

Makenna Morris, 21, from Salt Lake City, Utah, said that she was on deck 4 of the Carnival Legend when she noticed the Carnival Glory moving toward her ship. As the Carnival Glory approached, she could hear passengers screaming in preparation for the impact.

“I heard sounds of cracking and glass breaking,” Morris told NBC News. “The whole dining hall caved in and shattered.”

A few days following the allision (the company is referring to the incident as an “allision,” rather than as a “collision,” because one of the ships was not actually moving at the time), Carnival Cruise Line—which is the world’s largest international cruise line—released a public apology for the incident. The captain of the Carnival Glory also confirmed an investigation into the cause of the accident, which the company currently acknowledges as “spontaneous wind gusts and strong currents.”

“A formal investigation is underway to confirm the cause of the accident,” the letter read. “The ship has been inspected by the required authorities and there are no issues that impact our ability to sail safely back to New Orleans.”

The captain also affirmed that the six people injured in the incident had all been treated, and were in healthy condition.

This recent Cozumel crash is not the first time that Carnival Cruise Line has been the subject of controversy.

In 2002, it was reported that the company was paying their staff less than $1 per hour for shifts that lasted 11 hours, 7 days a week. Since 2017, Carnival has been on probation after “illegally dumping oil into the ocean from its Princess Cruise ships and lying about the scheme,” for which they also had to pay a $40 million fine. The court summary states: “Princess was convicted and sentenced in April 2017, after pleading guilty to felony charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels and intentional acts to cover it up.”

Just this year, Carnival was exposed violating the rules of its probation, with a list of up to 800 allegations emerging over a one-year period. In addition to severe fines that could increase up to ten times, Carnival faces a possible temporary ban from docking in US ports. A settlement was reached this past June, confirming that Carnival’s probation would last another three years.

And while this incident had nothing to do with Carnival Cruise Line’s services (in fact, the folks involved praised Carnival’s support throughout the incident), the company made headlines earlier this year when one half of an American couple fell critically ill aboard the Carnival Dream cruise ship and was rushed to a hospital in Mexico. Tyler Perry heard about their situation and paid the couple’s hospital bill, helping them safely get back home to the States.

Carnival Cruise Line has operated since 1972, and its fleet has undergone several transformations over the past few decades.

Of the two ships involved in this most recent incident, the Carnival Glory is a Miami-based vessel registered in Panama that has been carrying passengers since 2003.  It carries roughly 1,150 crew members and has a maximum guest capacity of 3,756, though the number of people who were on board at the time of the crash is unknown.

The Carnival Legend is significantly smaller, with a capacity for 930 crew members and up to 2,610 guests. It has been in service for the company since 2002. The Legend is based in Tampa but registered in Malta.

Carnival also has plans to expand their current fleet of 27 ships in the next couple of years. The Carnival Mardi Gras is due to set sail in 2020, and it will be the largest ship ever built for Carnival, featuring the first-ever roller coaster at sea. Another ship is due out in 2022, though its name and special features have yet to be announced.

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