Reflecting on Earth Day

Between the headline “Burning Oil Rig Sinks in Gulf of Mexico” and now Carnival’s cruise ship encountering a large buoy off the Yucatan Peninsula, the Gulf is contributed ominous news on the observance of Earth Day. The following article appeared on AolNews.com, Thursday, April 22.

Cruise Passengers Injured in Ship-Tip Incident

Michelle Ruiz Contributor

AOL News

(April 22) — Sixty passengers aboard a Carnival cruise ship sustained minor injuries when the boat leaned suddenly as it dodged a large buoy submerged in the waters off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The Carnival Ecstasy returned to its port in Galveston, Texas, today as scheduled, following Wednesday’s incident, Carnival said in a statement. While none of the passengers required hospitalization, one vacationer, Patrice Edwards, described the boat-tipping as jarring.

“We go to sleep, the next thing we know, [my husband] rolled and hit the floor, I rolled and hit the floor — the whole boat is going to the side,” she told Houston’s KHOU-TV. “Everything you can hear, everybody’s cabin is just falling and crashing to the floor.”

Sixty passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy were injured Wednesday when the vessel turned to avoid a large buoy in the waters off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Passengers were treated in the ship’s infirmary.
Carnival said the ship was forced to perform a maneuver to avoid the large buoy that was “adrift and mostly submerged, thereby preventing it from being detected by the ship’s radar.” According to Carnival, the ship listed 12 degrees to the starboard side. Edwards said many passengers on the final leg of the five-day cruise panicked.

“I look out the door and everyone is running back to their rooms to get their life rafts. I mean the whole boat just shifted,” Edwards said. “Everyone had their life rafts, and that’s when they were running with people on stretchers.”

Passengers were treated at the ship’s infirmary, and the U.S. Coast Guard was notified of the incident.

Carnival issued a statement, saying: “Carnival sincerely apologizes for the distress and discomfort this occurrence has caused our guests. The safety, comfort and care of our guests and crew is our top priority.”

 N.B.

As of today, the oil rig in the Gulf continues to burn and pollute the waters while 11 workers remain missing. I trust that any future legislation regarding oil drilling will take this incident into consideration.

 Fortunately, the Carnival Cruise incident had insignificant consequences. Nevertheless, as someone interested in sea safety, I ask, “what can be done to prevent this scenario from repeating?  Was it luck or was it Carnival’s reaction that prevented serious injuries?”

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