Yesterday the webcam in the port of Nassau in the Bahamas showed the +20 year old Carnival Victory belching thick black smoke from its funnel.
PTZtv which operates the webcam tweeted the two minute video with the caption “no smoke without . . . ? – – hard to imagine anything good happening here.”
The video is a little deceiving as it initially shows a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (seems like the Navigator of the Seas) in the foreground, but the pollution is actually coming from the funnel of a Carnival cruise ship (i.e., the Carnival Victory) which is behind the Royal Caribbean ship.
— PTZtv (@PTZtv) July 28, 2019
The responses on Twitter were predictable. Some suggested that this was somehow normal upon the firing up of the engines while about to leave port (the Carnival Victory was scheduled to leave Nassau around 5:00 p.m. yesterday). @DrCruiseGuy tweeted: “Just using a lot of power firing up and soot is blowing loose.”
@SporksOfFury tweeted the obvious: “That definitely looks gnarly, but we were docked next to a Carnival ship in Nassau a few years ago, that had similar smoke coming out of its stack. Not quite as bad, but still gnarly.”
@Airpowerimages offered a humorous twist on the tradition of white smoke coming from the chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican whenever the College of Cardinals select a new pope – “New Pope?”
@Ribeiroc78 tweeted what should be bottom line analysis that this was no joking matter: “Yep, cruise ships are the worst for carbon footprint.“
Of course, the emissions from this Carnival Cruise Line ship could not come at a worst time for Carnival Corporation which has been filed $60,000,000 for widespread air and water pollution in just the last three years.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) levied a record fine of $40,000,000 after Carnival-owned Princess Cruises pleaded guilty in December of 2016 to serious, widespread and long-term pollution crimes involving the use of secret bypass valves on five Princess cruise ships to discharge oil directly into the water around the world, as well as conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
More recently, the DOJ levied a fine against Carnival Corporation of an additional $20,000,000 after the U.S. government caught the cruise giant of “repeatedly” illegally discharging food contaminated with plastic waste, aluminum, metals and other non-food items in violation of its probation.
The DOJ also fined Carnival Corporation and/or its brand Holland America Line and Princess Cruises an additional fines totalling $22,500,000 in the last two decades for dumping oil and plastic into the water.
Carnival Corporation has also been caught violating air emission laws in the past several years while on probation for environmental crimes. The Miami Herald reported that the Carnival P&O Azura burned heavy fuel oil for 16 hours while traveling through Iceland’s Environmental Protection Zone. The heavy fuel oil that many cruise ship ships use is high in sulfur. Sulfur emissions in ship exhausts is linked to hundred of thousands of premature deaths from lung cancer / cardiovascular disease and millions of childhood asthma cases annually.
In light of Carnival’s shoddy environmental record and its habit of violating probation when caught illegally discharging oil and plastics and illegally emitting air pollution, it is discouraging to see this recidivist criminal corporation resorting to its old ways so soon after its executives stood in Judge Seitz’s courtroom last month and promised that they learned their lesson.
Carnival Corporation did not immediately respond to our request for information.
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Update: July 31, 2019 – Carnival released the following statement: “Carnival Victory incident in question involved an adjustment of the boiler, causing smoke from the ship’s funnel. The issue was resolved in less than 10 minutes and the smoke quickly dissipated and the ship resumed normal operations.”
The PTZtv video shows heavy smoke from the Carnival Victory funnels as of 4:25 P.M. These photos below show the cruise ship still emitting thick smoke at 5:09 P.M., heavily smoking 35 minutes after the video stops (photo below, left), as the cruise ship is backing out of its berth. At 5:39 P.M. over approximately one hour and 15 minutes after the video ends (photo below, right), the Carnival ship is filmed after leaving the port of Nassau, still emitting smoke.
Video credit: PTZtv