Carnival Celebration Spills Oil Off Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas ” A U.S. cruise ship’s engine propeller struck the sea floor while docking Wednesday in the Bahamas, spilling oil and damaging the vessel, the cruise company said.

The Celebration was forced to abandon its planned stop in Nassau and return to its homeport in Jacksonville, Florida, a Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman said.

The ship spilled an estimated 200 liters (53 gallons) of lubricating oil into the water, spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said from the company’s headquarters in Miami, Florida.

“My understanding is that there is no visible sign of the lubricant,” de la Cruz said. “It was a very small amount and I am told that it has dissipated.”

The propeller was damaged in the accident and one of the ship’s engines was not functioning properly as a result, forcing the crew to operate with the other engine, she said.

The company notified authorities in the Bahamas and the United States and the vessel was scheduled to return to its homeport Thursday morning as scheduled.

Shipboard technicians were expected to examine the ship as it returned to the United States. Passengers were to receive a $50 (euro39.29) per person shipboard credit for the missed call at Nassau as well as a 25 percent discount off a future cruise, she said.