Bomb threat to casino boat closes Fla. port, delays cruise-ship departure

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla.) — A bomb threat emailed to a Port Canaveral, Fla.,-based Victory Casino Cruises boat caused a temporary port closure and delayed passenger boarding and departure of the Carnival Miracle cruise ship Thursday.

After learning of the bomb threat about 5 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville in Atlantic Beach immediately established a safety zone using boat crews from Station Port Canaveral and stopped all boating traffic in the port.

Additionally, the crew of the Miracle was directed not to board crew or passengers due to the cruise ship’s proximity, roughly 1 mile, to the casino boat.

After the Port Canaveral Police conducted multiple sweeps of the vessel and found no sign of explosive devices, Capt. Tom Allan, captain of the port, secured the safety zone and reopened the port to boating traffic.

“The safety of the public and all the responders was paramount as we assessed the credibility of this threat and determined there was no danger for those on or near the vessel,” said Allan. “Because of the excellent relationship we have with our local law enforcement partners, we were able to quickly determine the area is safe, allowing normal operations to resume.”

The FBI is investigating the source of the threat.

By Professional Mariner Staff