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Carnival Ecstasy loses power at sea; Carnival Corp announces enhancements to emergency power systems

by Leah Zanolla
Apr 18, 2013

Another Carnival ship has lost power at sea; luckily it was only for 12 minutes this time. The Carnival Ecstasy had a short power outage while at sea on Wednesday, April 17. The ship was on its way back to Port Canaveral this morning (Thursday, April 18) after a five-day cruise and was expected to dock about a half hour past its scheduled time.

The same day, Carnival announced a "program to enhance emergency power capabilities, introduce new fire safety technology and improve the level of operating redundancies across its entire 24-ship fleet." The Carnival Cruise Lines portion is expected to cost $300 million and another $400 million to implement it in across the rest of the corporation. Carnival Corp. maintains a fleet of 101 ships across their 11 brands.

After the engine room fire incident on the Carnival Triumph in February, as well as several other incidents in the past few months, the cruise line began a company-wide review of its operational procedures and what services are still accessible while running on emergency power.

Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, said, "All of Carnival Cruise Lines' ships operate safely today. Each vessel already has effective systems in place to prevent, detect and respond to emergency situations, and we meet or exceed all regulatory requirements." In spite of that, the company plans to use what they've learned through the review to increase and enhance these services and also hopefully prevent more of the same problems from happening in the future.

Items included in the enhancement are:

Increased emergency generator power - This will be able to maintain full power to public restrooms, fresh water and elevators during a power outage. After this is completed, a secondary back-up system will be installed covering the kitchens, food storage, and Internet and phone lines.

Increased fire prevention, detection and suppression systems - The sprinkler systems will be upgraded to put out more water in the case of fire. The system will also automatically cool any hot spots so the fire will not restart.

Enhanced operating redundancies - Electrical components of the engine will be modified so there is less of a chance to lose power.

A new safety and reliability review board - The company will call in outside experts in "marine and occupational safety, reliability and maintenance, marine regulatory compliance and quality control and assurance." These third parties will offer recommendations for the new program and offer their expertise in how best to upgrade the vessel's systems.

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