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Carnival Fire Damage in 2010 Blamed on Worker by Coast Guard (1)

July 15, 2013

Fire damage on the Carnival (CCL:US) Splendor in November 2010 was exacerbated by a crew member who reset a fire alarm panel, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

A mechanical failure in a diesel generator led to the fire, the Coast Guard said today in a report. A fire protection system on the ship wasn’t activated until 15 minutes after the initial blaze began because the alarm had been reset. The delay let the fire spread, which led to the loss of power.

A series of mishaps at sea have reduced Carnival Corp.’s bookings and projected profit this year. Last month, Vice Chairman Howard Frank said profit would be 50 cents a share lower than previously projected because of repair costs and higher marketing expenses.

The Coast Guard recommended that Carnival remove a 40-second time delay in its fire protection systems, as well as make other changes, such as increasing the crew’s familiarity with fire control procedures. There were no injuries or fatalities on the Splendor, which reached San Diego on Nov. 11, according to the report.

Carnival, based in Miami, said it was reviewing the report and had already implemented numerous actions in its fleet as a result of its own investigation of the incident.

A fire in February knocked out power on the Carnival Triumph during a Gulf of Mexico cruise. About 4,200 passengers and crew were stuck at sea with limited food and toilet access.

The company today pointed to a $300 million fleet-wide enhancement of its emergency power and fire-safety systems announced in April.

No Injuries

“There were no injuries as a direct result of the Carnival Splendor or Triumph incidents and, at Carnival, the safety and comfort of our guests is our paramount focus,” the company said.

Last month Micky Arison stepped down as chief executive officer of Carnival after 34 years at the helm of the company his father founded. He was replaced by board member Arnold W. Donald. Arison remains chairman of the company.

Carnival declined 0.1 percent to $36.04 at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 2 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at

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