Carnival decides to pay U.S. for Triumph and Splendor events
Carnival will pay an undisclosed amount to the U.S. Treasury as reimbursement for costs associated with the Carnival Splendor and Triumph events.
Initially the company flatly refused to do so, saying it was a law of the sea issue. However, I think they saw this for what it was, a no-win scenario with little hope of public support for Carnival's position. Plus it was a political hot button for Jay "my great-grandfather left me well-off" Rockefeller. Look at it as a legal settlement as in a lawsuit, where they pay, accept no guilt, and the issue goes away.
On the other hand, Carnival may have also set a precedent for the other cruise lines and now the expectation will be they reimburse the government for every incident the Coast Guard responds to. And that is a bad precedent, because it treats the cruise lines differently than every other ship, boat, swimmer, etc., that receives Coast Guard help.
Really hate to see they caved in to the pressure of a highly visible politician. Carnival Conquest and Disney Wonder both came to the rescue of Cuban rafters the other day but did you see big headlines saying "Carnival rescues rafters". No. Will the Coast Guard re-imburse these two cruise lines for their rescue? No. I agree, I think this has just set a bad precedent.
If I were a member of congress, I would immediately draft legislation that would make allowances to reimburse the cruise lines for going out of their way to respond to emergencies on the sea. Then I would just dare that idiot Rockerfeller to say anything about it.
Carnival is being punished for being a money making corporation, plain and simple.
And they really didn't rescue anyone. Carnival paid a tug boat from Mobile to come tow us in, all the Coast Guard did was post a cutter on guard duty. They did come on board to inspect the damage and determine if anything further needed to be done there but that is it. The biggest expense was the airlifting of some supplies and one passenger that needed dialysis . Now the Splendor indecent did involve a lot more government assets, but not the Triumph...
The cruise ship pulls up close to the raft, they send a lifeboat over to the raft and bring the Cubans aboard the cruise ship. They get food, medical exams, and depending on the location of the ship they either turn the refugees over to a Coast Guard cutter in another rendezvous, or they keep them aboard until they arrive at a port, where they are handed over to the authorities.
I'm not sure what you are asking. If the Coast Guard sends a helicopter to ship to take someone ill or injured to a hospital, my understanding is the patient is not charged for the Coast Guard portion of the transfer.