Breaking: Coast Guard issues safety alerts in wake of Carnival Splendor fire

In a Marine Safety Alert issued yesterday the US Coast Guard urges ship owners to verify and test their Fixed Fire Fighting systems to be sure they work right.

The two Coast Guard alerts “refer to the Carnival Splendor” and the fire that shut down the ship November 8, 2010 verified marine industry journal Professional Mariner.

Noting the ship’s crew responded correctly, the Coast Guard said the disabling fire was “responded to and extinguished by the vessel’s quick response team firefighters using portable extinguishing equipment.”

Where the alert part of this development comes into play refers to Splendor’s fixed firefighting system which had been recently inspected but failed to operate as designed. It seems the directions on how to operate the system and how it actually operates are different, what the Coast Guard called “a recipe for failure”.

The Coast Guard issued a strong recommendation for ship builders and owners to verify and test installations to insure they will “operate correctly during an emergency”.

As Gadling reported previously, propulsion systems, electricity, climate control, water and entertainment were all disabled, and the ship was stuck 200 miles off the coast of San Diego as a result of the fire.

Flickr photo by gnr

Carnival Splendor update: woes continue, ship out of service longer

Carnival Splendor, the ship that caught fire not long ago, putting an abrupt end to sailings of the ship from the West coast, will be held out of service longer than anticipated.

Taken out of service for repairs in November, Carnival Cruise Lines announced at the time that all sailings between then and January 16th had been canceled. In an update today that number was pushed forward to February 20, 2011.

“We sincerely apologize to our guests for having to cancel these additional cruises,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “We made our best effort back in November to estimate the necessary repair time with a strong goal of not having to modify it at a later point in time.”

As repairs were done, additional issues were discovered and some needed parts where not available.

“Unfortunately, as the repairs have progressed and we have discovered additional issues, it is now clear that we need more time. We know this is extremely disappointing for our guests and particularly disheartening for those who already had their vacations canceled once and are now being affected again.” Cahill added.

Guests booked on newly-canceled sailings will receive a full refund of what they paid or a future cruise credit of equal value in addition to a 25% discount and/or on board credit if they re-book on a future sailing depending on the ship and sailing date of the new booking.

Our friends over at AOL Travel have been in touch with the cruise line and have more details on the impact the new discoveries will have for future cruise passengers on the Splendor.

Flickr photo by DVIDSHUB