April 5, 2013
(Update: 7:15 a.m. EDT) -- Carnival has released a second statement regarding Carnival Triumph breaking free from a pier in Mobile, Alabama. The statement gave no update to the timeline for Triumph's repairs and avoided any mention of new damage to the ship, which is readily apparent in photos and videos of the incident.
The line reiterated the severity of weather conditions that caused the ship to break free of its moorings, including winds exceeding 70 miles per hour, saying: "According to meteorological experts, the excessive winds were produced by a phenomenon known as a gravity wave, which is difficult to predict and typically does not produce winds of the level of severity experienced Wednesday. At this time, we know that numerous mooring lines were used to properly secure the ship. However, four of the bollards that the mooring lines were tied to and are embedded into the pier broke apart. The ship remains docked at the Mobile Cruise Terminal and repairs are continuing. At this time it has not yet been determined how long the ship will remain at the cruise terminal."
(6:03 p.m. EDT, April 3) -- Carnival Triumph -- currently docked at a Mobile shipyard for repairs after a engine room fire left the ship without power in February -- broke away from its moorings today. A Carnival statement says that strong winds up to 70 miles per hour were the cause of the incident. While the ship is docked in Mobile it is under the stewardship of the shipyard's operator, BAE, and not Carnival Cruise Lines.
"The ship drifted and is currently resting against a cargo vessel," the statement continues. "Tug boats and the U.S. Coast Guard are on site." The ship will be moved to the Mobile Cruise Terminal, the line has tweeted. (For photos and video, visit the Alabama Media Group's Web site, AL.com.)
Carnival notes that all crewmembers and contractors working on the ship have been accounted for. (Reports of shipyard workers falling into the water due to high winds are unrelated to Triumph breaking its moorings.) Although some media outlets are reporting a hole on the right side of the stern, a Carnival spokesman has not yet responded to our questions about damage to the ship or any delays in the repair process due to the incident. He did confirm the ship was secure.
We'll keep you posted.
A fire that broke out in an engine room of Carnival Triumph on February 10 left the 102,000-ton vessel crippled in Gulf of the Mexico with 3,143 passengers onboard. Investigators have since determined that the fire was caused by a leak in a fuel oil return line coming from the ship's number 6 engine. Carnival Triumph was towed to Mobile for repairs, and will remain out of service through early June to undergo "significant" mechanical investments to improve operating redundancies.
--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor