After the Captain of the P&O Cruises-operated ship ‘Azura’ was fined for ‘deliberately breaching the European air pollution limits’, there are reports that Carnival is planning to appeal the court’s ruling.
A Marseille court has imposed a fine of €100,000 (USD 114,000) to the American Captain of the P&O Cruises-operated ship ‘Azura’ for ‘deliberately breaching the European air pollution limits’, in a first of its kind ruling, on Monday. However, the court specified that the €80,000 of this sum must be paid by the P&O Cruises’ parent company, Carnival.
[smlsubform prepend=”GET THE SAFETY4SEA IN YOUR INBOX!” showname=false emailtxt=”” emailholder=”Enter your email address” showsubmit=true submittxt=”Submit” jsthanks=false thankyou=”Thank you for subscribing to our mailing list”]
The court sued the Captain of the ‘Azura’, Captain Evans Hoyt, 58, over using heavy fuel oil (HFO) containing 1.68% of sulphur, which exceeds the maximum allowed limit of 1.5%, during the ship’s stopover in Marseilles, on 29 March.
According to prosecutors in the trial, the Captain was aware that that the fuel was illegal and ‘the company was using it to save money’.
However, Carnival stated that it is disappointed by this decision, as it noted that it was based on a law which France had informed that would not apply to cruise ships.
It also added that it takes serious consideration into protecting the environment and that the Captain was using the fuel in good faith, as the company had directed.
For this reason, Carnival will appeal the court’s ruling.
International sources underline that the court’s decision seeks to signal a new seriousness in tackling pollution from cruise ships, as cruise ship traffic sees rising development in Mediterranean ports and specifically the port of Marseilles is a highly popular destination for cruise ships which add significantly to the local economy. However, this has greatly contributed to the increased levels of smog in the city over the last years.