Bowing to political pressure, the cruise line Carnival Corp. said this week it is willing to repay the U.S. government an unspecified amount for the costs to taxpayers for responses to disabling accidents on its Triumph and Splendor cruise ships.
Carnival released on Monday the following statement on the reimbursement:
“Carnival Corporation is in the process of voluntarily submitting payment to the U.S. Treasury Department to reimburse the federal government for costs related to the Carnival Triumph and Splendor incidents. It should be clearly noted that at no point in time has Carnival stated it would refuse to reimburse federal agencies if they sought remuneration. Although no agencies have requested remuneration, the company has made the decision to voluntarily provide reimbursement to the federal government.”
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W Va.) estimated the Coast Guard's costs in dealing with the crippled Triumph earlier this year at nearly $780,000. The 2010 engine fire that left the Splendor adrift off Mexico reportedly cost the Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy about $3.4 million.
Rockefeller was far from impressed by Carnival’s statement, issuing a statement of his own declaring that the reimbursement is the least the company could do.
"I'm glad to see that Carnival owned up to the bare minimum of corporate responsibility by reimbursing federal taxpayers for these two incidents," the lawmaker said in a statement.