Cruise Ship Accidents, Cruise Ship Fires, Cruise Ship Law

Carnival Triumph Had Mechanical Trouble Prior To Recent Cruise Ship Fire Accident


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

The Carnival Triumph cruise ship fire accident has led many maritime industry leaders to question the safety onboard the vessel, as well as other cruise ships.

Carnival Corp., the parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, has already been criticized for the many maritime accidents onboard ships that belong to another of its subsidies, Costa Cruises, including the tragic Costa Concordia capsizing accident, which caused the deaths of 32 people onboard. And this new incident, many are reporting, may have been the result of prior mechanical errors on the ship.

According to Debbi Smedley, a passenger on a Triumph cruise that left Galveston on Jan. 28, the Triumph had prior mechanical trouble before the fire broke out on its most recent itinerary. In an interview on, Smedley explained she received an email from Carnival Cruise Lines just hours before the vessel was scheduled to depart, saying departure would be delayed because of a propulsion problem. The email also asked passengers to arrive at the port of Galveston, TX at 2 p.m., two hours later than originally scheduled and according to Smedley, the Triumph didn’t set sail until after 8 p.m.

Smedley added that “this was, by far, I have to say, the worst” cruise ship experience she has ever had.

However, this pales in comparison to the appalling conditions passengers onboard the latest Triumph itinerary had to endure. Over 3,100 passengers who were on the ship when the fire broke out have told stories of the hellish conditions onboard the Triumph they suffered while the vessel was towed to Mobile, Alabama following the loss of shipboard power. Passengers said there were barely any working toilets, sewage was overflowing across decks and cabins and food was scarce.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen addressed the Triumph’s previous mechanical issues, explaining that there was an electrical problem with the ship’s alternator on the voyage immediately prior to the cruise ship fire accident. However, Gulliksen contends that repairs were completed Feb. 2 and that testing of the repaired equipment was successful.

“There is no evidence at this time of any relationship between this previous issue and the fire that occurred on Feb. 10,” added Gulliksen.

However, Smedley said the ship had several other things wrong with it when she went on her cruise voyage. During her five-day itinerary, Smedley says a water line broke in the hallway ceiling near her cabin and another sewer line broke outside the main dining room. She also charged that the elevators on the vessel were often not operating properly.

The “Fun Ship” cruise operator is already headed to court after two passengers who were onboard the ship filed a proposed Carnival Triumph class action lawsuit with our cruise lawyers here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A.

Anyone who was onboard the Triumph when the fire accident happened has a right to seek legal help to protect their rights and fight for the compensation they deserve for the conditions they were subjected to.

Photo Credits:

Top Left: Carnival Triumph Engine Room Fire –
Bottom Right: Triumph Returns To Land On Backup Generator Power –

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