Whiny passengers should feel grateful fire didn’t damage cruise ship more

The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed toward the port of Mobile, Ala., last week after an engine room fire.

/Lyle Ratliff/REUTERS

The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed toward the port of Mobile, Ala., last week after an engine room fire.

THE GLOBE’S Feb. 16 editorial contributes to the media obsession about the discomfort of passengers on the cruise ship Carnival Triumph and displays a disturbing lack of perspective (“Cruise ship owner: Facing the Heat”). The significant problem is the fire in the engine room that destroyed most of the power-generating equipment and propulsion, causing the ship to be towed to port.

There were no injuries or deaths. The passengers should have nothing but praise for the crew that extinguished the fire and should stop bellyaching about the unpleasant conditions that followed. They could have experienced much worse — like days in lifeboats — or suffered even more dire consequences.


A review of recent cruise-ship disasters shows at least six that either sank or were scrapped as a result of fires. Fire at sea is the disaster that, for centuries, seamen have feared the most. The only important questions are, “How did the fire start, and how can such fires be prevented in the future?” Until those questions are answered, the media should forget the passengers’ bad manners, give this crew and owners some credit, and focus on what matters.

Chester A. Kunz Jr.


The writer is a retired US Navy commander.

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