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ruben.maritime

The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

Rice barge hits Carnival's Fantasy

NEW ORLEANS 12 February – Carnival Cruise Lines’ Fantasy is undergoing repairs today to mend a 10-m gash sustained in a collision with a barge on Saturday as the vessel was on its final homeward leg up the lower Mississippi towards New Orleans. No injuries or pollution were reported in the accident at Mile Marker 88, Fairplay was told by Coast Guard Lt Cmdr Cheri Ben-Iesau and the Panama-flagged cruise ship was allowed to finish its voyage on its own power to the Erato Street Terminal, where returning passengers disembarked. On arrival, company and USCG inspectors reviewed the damage and immediately cancelled the outbound cruise and Ben-Iesau says the vessel will be laid up for eight days for repairs and certifications. The 2,050 outbound passengers were allowed to board, told they could stay aboard ship – as a floating hotel while visiting pre-Mardi Gras New Orleans, Ben-Isau added. Passengers were given full refunds for that trip and 25% discounts on a future three- or five-day cruise. "We didn't want to leave people sitting on the piers," Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said. "We feel terrible that these folks are losing their vacation. We know it's not just matter of money, but a matter of time and people do lot of planning." Minor damage was reported to the rice laden barge, one of a string of six being pushed downriver by the towboat Repentance. An investigation is underway into the collision and Fantasy’s next cruise – set for next Thursday – will also have to be shortened or cancelled, Ben-Iesau added. An initial statement from Carnival blames the incident on the towboat, asserting that its ship “was struck” and that the tow operator “lost control and collided with the Fantasy”.

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