Carnival’s pollution grabs headlines

| 04/11/2019 | 47 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Images and video footage captured in George Town Harbour last week of a Carnival cruise ship belching thick black smoke into the air have grabbed news headlines around the world and gone viral on social media. The cruise line, part of the consortium selected by government to build the proposed berthing facility here, continues to face legal challenges over a history of pollution and will be in court in the US on the day Cayman goes to the polls to vote on the project next month.

The various photos showing black smog gushing from the exhaust stacks, one of which was set against a rainbow, served as a reminder that, despite claims by its management about prioritising the environment, the company is not being a good corporate citizen.

Carnival told US media that the Carnival Freedom was releasing the toxic smoke because of a malfunctioning “engine turbocharger”. The cruise company told Fox News that it happened as the ship pulled into harbour but the malfunctioning engine was shut down and the smoke stopped. However, the plume of pollution was caught on camera.

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Experts have said that Carnival, like other cruise lines, uses heavy fuel oil high in sulphur. These emissions are linked to thousands of premature deaths from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary problems and childhood asthma cases annually.

Over the last three years Carnival has been fined more than $60 million and has pleaded guilty to various widespread pollution crimes relating to emissions, offloading waste and dumping oil and then trying to cover it up.

Meanwhile, a hearing in the US courts has been scheduled for 19 December, the day of Cayman’s referendum on the cruise project, to discuss the ongoing environmental and pollution case against Carnival Corporation and its compliance with court rulings.

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Category: development, Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (47)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Eewwww, look at all that black smoke…. Ewwww!!!!

    Now add up all the kerosene the 10,000 planes there is in the air at ALL-TIMES, the tens of thousands of trains burning diesel around the world, the 1 billions cars and 400 million commercial trucks, the 100,000 transport ships and yachts burning fuel on the world, along with the 400 million private boats and you’re going to point to this one ship as if this and the dock is going to affect the reef…..

    You people are absolute freaking pigeons.

    • Anonymous says:

      By saying “you people” I’m going to assume you aren’t from here. So I’ll give you another joke: this resembles 60% of all dumptrucks on our roads. Not to mention the daily occurrence of some uninspected car with horrible engine seals so you see a plume of Grey smoke coming out the back.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good post and they way you’ve used the word “joke” tells me you are from here or been here a long time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay there mla.

      we don’t have planes and trains sitting around our port. the fact that the pollution affects us directly in the ocean and air is a huge health issue.

  2. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

  3. Anonymous says:

    And they blame cars for causing all the pollution… that thing burns more fuel in 15 minutes than my car does in a year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS, you might like to check this out –

    And which cruise line has their UK HQ in Southampton? Carnival!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank god the cruise ships only come into port when there’s an offshore breeze. If you have ever been on a boat, and been down wind of one of these things when they’re anchored up in town, you know what I am talking about. The emissions coming from them are horrendous. The smell of sulfur is so strong.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fix the goddamn dump………………….and the 3rd rate education system.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That’s what it looks like when you first fire up an engine burning heavy oil. Happens all the time, nothing new.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:02pm but that’s not what happened here. Did you read the article?
      Pay attention. To have comprehension skills is vital.

      • Anonymous says:

        He thinks it’s better to pull comments out of his ass without reading the story.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:43 You read the story. ‘Carnival told US media that the Carnival Freedom was releasing the toxic smoke because of a malfunctioning “engine turbocharger”.’

        Do you believe them? I don’t.

        These Carnival vessels have been making smoke like that on engine start up for at least the last 12 years. Check out the other comments about this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Probably need to adjust her valves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How many old dirty Diesel engines running all day long in those tenders?

    • Anonymous says:

      at most? 6. This ships also have 6 engine but they are as big as one the tenders and burning much lower grade fuel.

      But hey, don’t let reality get in the way of your shilling.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Only releasing the toxic smoke when there is a mechanical malfunction? Those ships must be on the verge of sinking because they do it often and usually when they are preparing to move.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don’t stop thre carnival.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is why the new big ships are switching to LNG, hybrid and electric and also why we need the new ships not the old worn out cheap ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      To start off with it’s worth remembering that most of these ‘clean’ cruise ships are smaller vessels, what’s being referred to as the ’boutique’ market. Anyway we won’t get them here because they’re being built specifically to comply with tough environmental laws at other destinations. Until that happens here we’ll still get all the clapped out old wrecks flagged out of places that either don’t have, or don’t enforce, any environmental protection legislation.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are almost none planned on the order book destined for the Western Caribbean. There aren’t even home embarkation ports equipped for these boats. Asian Pacific and Med are the expansion markets not our shared itineraries for North American customers. We won’t get to 2.5mln in our lifetimes, and we are pledged to finance the widening arrivals gap as stupidly agreed by Unity Cabinet. From every angle this is dumb.

  13. We're Squeaky Clean says:

    The power players in Cayman don’t like it when our pollution is thrust in the public spotlight. They prefer it to be left undetected, swept under the rug, out of sight and mind. So long as the big money flows it’s a slow death by poisoning. CUC with its NOx and SOx, the dump with its fires, the sewage plant and water plants with their Hydrogen Sulphide would be forced to radically curtail their emissions if our air quality standards met First World acceptable limits. This place is akin to a 1800’s North American frontier industrial mining town, a free for all. Here in our so called paradise, polluters don’t pay, people do, with their lives!

    Any wonder that our health insurance providers have caught on. Our premiums are exorbitantly high and our sickness rates seem to be tracking this trend and people wonder why.

    Turbo failure or not, Carnival should be fined heavily for this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahh, Some people don’t like scraping the paint on squeaky facade to reveal the truth do they?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Carnival and Royal Caribbean are not winning environmental stewardship awards. More importantly: Verdant Isle remains a fully-disposable, hastily-incorporated shellco, with no capital/performance bond in the Cayman Islands to secure their conduct here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wake up Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. The Unity negotiators aren’t contracting directly with CCL or RCL, but with this limited liability empty plastic bag that is “Verdant Isle”, that they can all disown. We don’t even know the share structure of the company. Are the Unity Cabinet all nominee shareholders…might as well be for all the transparency we get.

  15. Don’t be fooled by Govt. says:

    December 19 soon come, people. Let us be smart and dodge this bullet. #VOTENO.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anyone with half a brain cell can tell that we don’t need anymore man made pollutants… and if you don’t believe me why don’t you go purchase a home and live in India.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Due to all their pollution fines Carnival should be banned from operations period. They are nothing more than floating dumps. And this is the company who will own a piece of our Port??? We are trusting them with our precious environment??Wake up Cayman before it’s too late. This makes me very Sad for the next generation. Our Government can see this and should protect our Environment which can not be replaced. That is their job. Oh sorry it’s all about money…….. #staywoke #VoteNo.

  18. Anon says:

    Just like the U.S. airplane manufacturing industry, the almighty dollar is paramount, and to hell with the consequences.

  19. John Evans says:

    Nothing new here. I caught several cruise ships doing this when I was at Net News in 2007. In fact we ran a front page story on it featuring a photo just like the one at the top of this story. That’s not just black smoke either – it’s a cocktail of carcinogenic materials that the wind spreads everywhere.

    It’s obviously not my place to make comments on whether or not the dock should be built from the comfort of retirement in rural England but I hope there are some pretty solid environmental safeguards in place if this project goes ahead.

    Check this out –

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the smoke is coming from burning Tempura?

      • John Evans says:

        10:19 Does your Mother know you’re posting comments here?

        12:37 Ex-pats on WPs don’t have voting rights. And in any case I’ll never be setting foot on the Cayman Islands again so the decision on the dock is your problem not mine.

        • Anonymous says:

          The real question is, does Mother England know you are posting comments on here! The FCO is probably watching!

    • Anon says:

      not sure if you were ever a registered voter, but if you were have you check to see if you are still on the electors list? If yes you should request a postal ballot and have your say.

  20. Anonymous says:

    and this is what we want to destroy our harbor for? these run down ships that doesn’t give a shit about anything other than their profit. oh well this is cayman tho our new motto 5 star price 2 star quality

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah it’s weird here like it’s a first world facade over third world infrastructure. Sure Camana Bay and the hotels looks nice but when you take those away there’s really nothing setup or regulated here properly. I think if Cayman wanted to keep it’s “elite” status they would start with a green movement, (now that people know how polluted it is here) and part of that would be to take in only the “green” ships.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good Lord. You think Cayman has bad infrastructure compared to what? You certainly haven’t travelled to many places in the Caribbean, I can tell you that. Our infrastructure package kills most other countries in the region. There are some things (like telecoms) in which we can’t compete because of the small size of the population, but Cayman does damn well for its size. What many forget is that because Cayman doesn’t impose income or payroll tax, and collects import duties instead of sales taxes, there are limited funds to do capital projects. So the government has to do these convoluted public-private deals that so many seem to hate no matter who it’s with. I am not a supporter of the cruise piers, but I am very much a supporter of the deal that got the Esterley Tibbetts Highway all the way to West Bay. There’s no way governmeny got that project done with a private sector partner. What a difference that has made to the quality of my life, not having to sit in traffic for hours. Too bad government wasn’t focused on a similar deal that could ease the frustrations of the poor bastards who have to drive in from points east.

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