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Carnival Cruises refuses to pay for Coast Guard rescues

By zzyzzx   2013 Apr 4, 4:42am   ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   2 links   2,542 views   22 comments   watch (0)   share   quote  

http://skift.com/2013/04/03/carnival-tells-senator-it-has-no-intent-to-pay-for-triumph-rescue/

Carnival Corp. indicated in a couple of letters to Senator Jay Rockefeller that it has no intent to reimburse the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy for assistance in the recent Carnival Triumph accident, the 2010 Carnival Splendor incidents, or any future problem where they require help from the U.S. government to aid a distressed vessel.

The senator from West Virginia penned a letter March 14 to Carnival CEO Micky Arison alleging that the U.S. Coast Guard responded to 90 “serious events” involving Carnival ships over five years, and that the Coast Guard and Navy had shelled out $4.2 million to cover the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Splendor incidents. The senator asked whether Carnival, since it pays “little or nothing in federal taxes,” will reimburse the Coast Guard and Navy.

Without giving a specific “yes” or “no” answer to the question, James Hunn, Carnival’s senior vice president, corporate maritime policy, wrote: “Carnival’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.”

For example, the Carnival Breeze diverted from its scheduled course on March 25 and helped the Coast Guard respond to two individuals requiring medical help in a small boat off the Florida coast, Hunn wrote.

UPDATE WITH COMMENT FROM SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Senator Rockefeller, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, wasn’t pleased with Carnival’s responses to his initial letter.

“Carnival’s response to my detailed inquiry is shameful,” Rockefeller tells Skift. “It is indisputable that Carnival passengers deserve better emergency response measures than they experienced on the Triumph. I am considering all options to hold the industry to higher passenger safety standards.”

Options under consideration would likely range from committee hearings to legislation.

Of the 90 incidents that Rockefeller cited in his letter to Arison, Hunn replied that only seven — including those involving the Carnival Splendor, Costa Concordia, Carnival Triumph and four others — amounted to “serious maritime incidents,” as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations.

Some have argued that free U.S. Navy and Coast Guard assistance to Carnival amounts to an integral and relatively overlooked part of the cruise company’s business model.

Hunn dodged the issue of how much Carnival pays in federal taxes, but replied that cruise industry ships that call at U.S. ports “pay hundreds of millions of dollars in annual fees and taxes to federal, state and local government agencies in the form of port head taxes, dock fees, wharfage and other fees.”

Carnival Corp. is the largest cruise company in the world.

In his letter, Hunn goes to great lengths to defend Carnival’s safety record, outlining remedial steps Carnival and the cruise industry took in the wake of the Carnival Splendor, Costa Concordia, and Carnival Triumph incidents.

Arison wrote his own, shorter letter to Rockefeller in which the cruise and Miami Heat owner stood his ground.

Arison wrote to Rockefeller that his letter “seems to cover much of the same ground we discussed” at a meeting a year earlier. Arison indicated he thought the Senator had been satisfied with Carnival’s responses at that earlier meeting, although he characterized the meeting in the senator’s offices as involving a “frank discussion.”

“I assure you, as I did during our discussions, that we remain committed to the safety and comfort of our guests and we are proud of our ability to provide millions of people with safe, fun and memorable vacation experiences,” Arison wrote in a letter dated March 29.

Rockefeller’s office didn’t have any immediate response to the Carnival letters

Comments 1-22 of 22     Last »

1   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2013 Apr 4, 10:42am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Had a number of friends who worked in the Carninal cruise ship bands and regarded them as ill-managed shit barges that exploited recent college grads and starving immigrants. None of them spent a good deal of their careers on ships but the few that kept at it got on other lines as soon as possible.

2   mell   40/40 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 4, 10:49am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I took a long cruise with Norwegian (transatlantic) and they were fantastic overall. Just need to be careful with the 220 Volt outlets ;)

3   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 4, 11:11am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

IDDQD says

Their, and any other shipping company. I think Senator is barking at a wrong tree here and needs to find something better to do with his time.

Why should my tax dollars be used to rescue foreign flagged ships?

4   upisdown     2013 Apr 4, 10:51pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

The senator from West Virginia penned a letter March 14 to Carnival CEO Micky
Arison alleging that the U.S. Coast Guard responded to 90 “serious events”
involving Carnival ships over five years, and that the Coast Guard and Navy had
shelled out $4.2 million to cover the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Splendor
incidents. The senator asked whether Carnival, since it pays “little or
nothing in federal taxes,” will reimburse the Coast Guard and Navy.

Ironic, considering that the senator is a Rockefeller.

zzyzzx says

Without giving a specific “yes” or “no” answer to the question, James Hunn,
Carnival’s senior vice president, corporate maritime policy, wrote: “Carnival’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.”

Kind of sounds like NO to me.

zzyzzx says

Of the 90 incidents that Rockefeller cited in his letter to Arison, Hunn
replied that only seven — including those involving the Carnival Splendor, Costa
Concordia, Carnival Triumph and four others — amounted to “serious maritime
incidents,” as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations.

Yea, because 7 is supposed to sound great. There are 2 words that come to me when I think of Carnival cruise lines; BUYER BEWARE.
zzyzzx says

“Carnival’s response to my detailed inquiry is shameful,” Rockefeller tells
Skift. “It is indisputable that Carnival passengers deserve better emergency
response measures than they experienced on the Triumph. I am considering all
options to hold the industry to higher passenger safety standards.”


Options under consideration would likely range from committee hearings to
legislation.

Is the plutocrat descendant up for reelection and needs some free publicity and hype to "help the cause"?

5   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2013 Apr 4, 11:46pm  ↑ like (7)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

upisdown says

There are 2 words that come to me when I think of Carnival cruise lines; BUYER BEWARE.

The two words that occur to me are SHIT and BARGE.

6   upisdown     2013 Apr 5, 12:10am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

APOCALYPSEFUCK is Shostakovich says


There are 2 words that come to me when I think of Carnival cruise lines;
BUYER BEWARE.


The two words that occur to me are SHIT and BARGE.

LOL, thanks for a good laugh. It's funny-friday but everyday is funny-friday for you, because you never disappoint.

7   WaPoIsHitler Lipsovitch   317/317 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 5, 12:31am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Don't wanna pay for the USCG and USN? Great, let's kick 'em out of Long Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle-Tacoma, and Biscayne Bay, moochers.

Hard to run a cruise line without an embark port.

8   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 5, 1:25am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

thunderlips11 says

Don't wanna pay for the USCG and USN? Great, let's kick 'em out of Long Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle-Tacoma, and Biscayne Bay, moochers.

Hard to run a cruise line without an embark port.

Or require them to be US flagged ships.

9   Dan8267   1020/1038 = 98% civil   2013 Apr 5, 3:33am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Why should my tax dollars be used to rescue foreign flagged ships?

Do you want American ships with American passengers to go down just because they are in foreign waters? The entire world-wide cruise and boating industry relies on the tacit agreement that a first-world nation will rescue any ship near its coasts -- hell, even in the middle of the Ocean -- regardless of nationality.

In fact, international law requires all vessels capable of answering a distress call from anyone to do so and to render assistance. And this is a good thing.

The fundamental problem with your worldview is that it is so selfish and tribal. You make the erroneous assumption that everyone is better off if each small group looks out for its own interests alone and fucks everyone else. This lack of cooperation is a weakness, not a strength. As problems become harder and tasks become greater, more cooperation and less competition is needed to succeed. You just don't seem to get that.

And the principle of cooperation is essential to solve the biggest problems of our day. There is no way to avoid ecological collapse and the extinction of our species through national actions alone. We've long pass that point already. We need world-wide political will to stop pollution and to maintain the world ecosystem. We need world-wide political will to end the diseases we can, to stabilize economies in the era of globalization, and to develop resources peacefully and without harming the local population (and that includes the population of the American mid-west and south (see oil spills and fracking)).

10   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 5, 3:38am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Dan8267 says

Do you want American ships with American passengers to go down just because they are in foreign waters?

Carnival Cruise lines ships are all foreign.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2012/12/11/why-are-cruise-ships-registered-in-foreign-countries/1760759/

only one major cruise ship—NCL America's Pride of America—is registered in the United States, according to data from CyberCruises.com. Most of the big boats fly Bahamian flags, but other popular registries include Panama, Bermuda, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands. In fact, according to Cruise Lines International Association, 90% of commercial vessels calling on U.S. ports fly foreign flags.

Seems to me that these cruise companies want to pay the low foreign taxes, but still want to use US services. I can't blame them for trying, but there should be a law about that.

11   The Professor     2013 Apr 5, 4:41am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Dan8267 says

We need world-wide political will to stop pollution and to maintain the world ecosystem. We need world-wide political will to end the diseases we can, to stabilize economies in the era of globalization, and to develop resources peacefully and without harming the local population

And stop the freakin' wars; hellacious pollution and nothing is produced.

12   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 5, 4:43am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

IDDQD says

Require all ships entering US ports to be US flagged ships?

Require all cruise ships serving majority US passengers to be US flagged ships.

13   Dan8267   1020/1038 = 98% civil   2013 Apr 5, 9:20am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Dan8267 says

Do you want American ships with American passengers to go down just because they are in foreign waters?

Carnival Cruise lines ships are all foreign.

Arrggg! That wasn't the point! The point is that there are American ships and ships with Americans on them that go into foreign waters and occasionally need rescuing. Have conservatives never heard of you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours?

14   unstoppable     2013 Apr 5, 12:02pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I don't know if there is a way to Legally update the Jones Act to force cruise ships that spend most of there time in domestic waters to switch to being American flagged.
You might be able to recoup costs by taxing cruise ship tickets like airline tickets. It would probably have to be a federal tax for legal reasons and to prevent states from bending over backwards in a downward race to accommodate the cruise lines.

Further more all cruise ships should be forced to cold Iron there plants and hook up to shore power when in port. The electrical load on those ships is enormous and the fuel they burn in the generators is looks like road tar.

15   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 5, 12:49pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

IDDQD says

This will probably violate dozens of international laws and agreements.

We already have a law for this for cargo boats that serve US ports.

16   unstoppable     2013 Apr 5, 1:26pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

IDDQD says

This will probably violate dozens of international laws and agreements.

We already have a law for this for cargo boats that serve US ports.

The Jones Act only covers cargo or passengers carried directly between US ports. It does cover cruise ships which is why the NCL ship in Hawaii is American flagged. If you dip into a foreign port between us ports you do not have to be American flagged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Marine_Act_of_1920

17   patb     2013 Apr 5, 5:19pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

maybe they should declare one of these cruise ships as abandoned and salvage it

18   Ironman   641/676 = 94% civil   2013 Apr 5, 11:28pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

IDDQD says

True and a good thing indeed. But in case of attack at sea only US-flagged ships are guaranteed protection by US Navy. So basically to force Carnival to register their ships in US we need pirates to start operating along Florida coast. ;)

Do you really think if a Carnival ship got attacked in the carribbean, the US Navy or Coast Guard wouldn't come to protect it??

19   Vicente     2013 Apr 6, 2:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

This is usual political grandstanding and nothing of substance.

Nothing to see here, move along.

20   zzyzzx   288/288 = 100% civil   2013 Apr 15, 11:12am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Vicente says

This is usual political grandstanding and nothing of substance.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Actually it looks like Rockefeller's shaming worked!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/carnival-says-pay-us-disabled-195122671.html

Carnival says it'll repay US government for costs of dealing with Triumph, Splendor incidents.

I suspect the bad publicity had something to do with this.

21   Ironman   641/676 = 94% civil   2013 Apr 15, 1:41pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

IDDQD says

Call it Crazy says

Do you really think if a Carnival ship got attacked in the carribbean, the US Navy or Coast Guard wouldn't come to protect it??

Yes, Sheldon, I really think so.

BAZINGA!

Good, I hope they don't come. I'll be on one of those ships in a few weeks and it would make for some great entertainment to be attacked by "pirates"!!

22   finehoe     2013 Apr 15, 11:45pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Dan8267 says

Have conservatives never heard of you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours?

Only when defense contractors are involved.

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