Carnival Cruise Lines Must Pay for Rescue Efforts

Target: Carnival CEO Micky Arison

Goal: Repay federal government for assistance given to rescue Carnival passengers

In early February 2013, the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Triumph was stranded in the ocean without power. Passengers on the ship were left without running water and reduced supplies of food and fresh water. To rescue the passengers, the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy sent their own ships to reach the Carnival Triumph and provide the passengers with supplies until the ship was able to return to shore. This incident was not the first disaster on a Carnival ship that required help from the Coast Guard. However, this incident, combined with the others, was costly for an already struggling federal department. When Carnival Cruise Lines was asked if the company would repay the government for the assistance, the company refused.

Senator Jay Rockefeller wrote to Carnival to ask if the government’s assistance would be repaid. He pointed out that the company, as it is based outside the United States, pays “little or nothing in federal taxes.” He also pointed out that in the past 5 years, the company has had 90 incidents requiring the help of the Coast Guard or Navy. The company has not shown a track record of being able to provide for their own passengers, and it is not right that the federal government continues to provide for them without any repayment.

Carnival senior vice president James Hunn responded to the letter by saying the company’s 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.” In other words, Carnival will not pay back the millions of dollars spent on fixing their errors because of “tradition.” The company has proven that they are unable to provide for their passengers without assistance. The fact that the assistance will not be repaid just speaks of greed within the company. Tell Carnival Cruise Lines that maritime tradition does not mean they should continue these horrific incidents, and they must pay back the federal government for assistance given.


Dear Mr. Arison,

Recently, Carnival Cruise Lines senior vice president James Hunn released a statement that the company would not be repaying the federal government for assistance given. The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy have spent millions of dollars to assist passengers in 90 incidents, most recently the disaster on the Carnival Triumph. With so many incidents that have required help, it is clear that your company is unable to provide for passengers on its own, yet you still refuse to pay for needed assistance.

I ask you to repay the federal government for assistance given for the many incidents. It is clear that Carnival Cruise Lines is incapable of providing enough assistance for your own ships in emergencies. When help is needed on this scale, it is only right that it should be repaid. If you are continuing to request help from the federal government, you must first repay what you owe.


[Your Name Here]

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