Judge threatens to block Carnival ships from US ports


(MIAMI) — A federal judge has threatened to temporarily block ships run by Carnival Corp. from docking at U.S. ports in the wake of court filings about the company’s alleged actions during a probation period for illegally dumping oil in the ocean, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

At a court hearing in Miami on Wednesday about the company’s progress with its probation compliance, prosecutors claimed ships from the company’s various cruise lines had falsified records, dumped plastic garbage overboard and discharged graywater in some instances.

"The people at the top are treating this as a gnat," U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz said. "If I could, I would give all the members of the executive committee a visit to the detention center for a couple of days. It's amazing how that helps people come to focus on reality."

Seitz then set a hearing in June to decide whether to revoke the probation and requested that both Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison and President Donald Arnold attend the June hearing. Neither were at the Wednesday hearing.

The probation stems from a $40 million settlement in 2016. Princess Cruises, one of Carnival's nine cruise lines, pleaded guilty to seven felony charges and paid the largest-ever criminal penalty for deliberate vessel pollution.

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By Professional Mariner Staff