By Sarah Phillips: Earlier today, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the cause of the engine room fire onboard the Carnival Triumph.
The Bahamas Maritime Authority is the primary investigative agency as the ship sails under the Bahamian flag. In accordance with international guidelines, the U.S. will participate in this investigation as a Marine Safety Investigative State. The purpose of the investigation is to identify causal and contributing factors that led to the incident. Additionally both the crew response and effectiveness of fire fighting systems will be evaluated to help prevent future incidents.
The U.S. team is expected to arrive in Mobile Wednesday. Results of the investigation will be released to the public once the investigation by the Bahamas Maritime Authority is complete.
Currently being towed into Mobile, Alabama by two tug boats, the Carnival Triumph was on a four-day cruise that departed from Galveston on February 7th when the fire occurred in the aft engine room about 150 miles off the coast of Mexico. No injuries to guests or crew members occurred during the fire. The ship is also being escorted by U.S. Coast Guard cutter Vigorous.
In a press conference Tuesday night, Carnival President & CEO Gerry Cahill apologized profusely to the guests and their families for the events on the Carnival Triumph. He said, “There’s no question that conditions onboard the ship are very challenging.”
He reiterated that guest safety, responding to guest needs and ultimately getting guests home have been and remain the top priority for Carnival. Both shore side and ship employees have been working diligently since Sunday to assist guests. Carnival Elation, Carnival Legend and Carnival Conquest all rendezvoused with the stricken ship to provided needed supplies over the last few days.
Cahill also went into more details about post-debarkation plans. Carnival has organized over 1500 hotel rooms, 20 charter flights and ground transportation to Houston and Galveston for affected guests.
Carnival Triumph is expected into Mobile, Alabama on Thursday.
Video of Press Conference: