Carnival Liberty cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a passenger vessel with IMO number 9278181, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. Among the unfortunate events at sea are fires, ship listing, Norovirus illness outbreaks, crew and passenger incidents (deaths, injuries, crimes), machinery malfunctions, rescue operations.
Here you can also track MS Carnival Liberty position at sea.using the AIS live ships tracker of VesselFinder. The 110,000-ton 2980-passenger Carnival cruise ship Liberty was built in 2005 by the Fincantieri shipbuilding company in Italy.
Carnival Liberty accidents & incidents
At the Carnival Liberty CruiseMinus page you will find a complete list of this Carnival ship’s major accidents and cruise incidents. Reports are made by our own staff using official data from major online news media sources, Wikipedia and USCG (Coast Guard) reports.
Here we also post updates on Carnival Liberty cruise law news. They are related to recent crimes being investigated. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits, charges and fines, grievances, settled /withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, etc.
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- September 7, 2015, while docked in call port Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas, USVI), the vessel experienced an engine room fire incident. USCG investigators and local Marine Safety inspectors boarded the ship to investigate and assess the damages. The cause is yet to be determined. No injuries were reported. The fire was quickly extinguished by the vessel’s automated fire suppression system. During the accident, all passengers were safely offloaded and offered the opportunity to wait at a local hotel’s reception, in the area nearby the cruise port. Complimentary refreshments were provided. The departure was initially rescheduled from 5 pm to 8 pm the same day. While in the evening all passengers were reboarded, the vessel was not cleared by the USCG and remained in port overnight for technical assessment. The shipowner officially reported that all the onboard passenger services were fully functional, including the air-conditioning and water / toilet systems. All the onboard public venues and facilities (including for dining and entertainment) were also operational.
- The accident occurred while the ship was on a 7-days Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary (Sept 6 to 13) roundtrip from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico, with call ports St Thomas, Bridgetown (Barbados), Castries (St Lucia), Basseterre (St Kitts) and Philipsburg (St Maarten).
- On September 8, the vessel remained berthed in St Thomas, awaiting clearance from USCG (permission to depart). The remainder of the cruise (all remaining call ports) were officially cancelled. At first, passengers were given the options to either stay on the ship (returning to homeport San Juan) or to fly back home from St Thomas at the company’s expense. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus a 50% future Carnival cruise booking discount and US$150 in onboard credit per person.
- On September 9, the shipowner Carnival Corporation flew all the passengers home primarily via chartered flights from St Thomas. The vessel returned to Puerto Rico at reduced speed. Next sailing (September 13) was on schedule and not affected.
Ship listing accident
- January 8, 2012, at ~8:30 am, while sailing in calm seas, the ship suddenly turned sharply and started to list / tilted portside. The sudden motion caused panic among passengers. In both Dining Room restaurants (serving breakfast) dishes and glasses flew to the floor and shattered. Great amounts of water from the Lido deck’s swimming pools were sloshed out, flooding stairwells and hallways.
- Information on what caused the listing incident was never revealed. Possible causes are computer glitch or human error.
- Rumor has it that the incident was caused by the navigation computer sending a command “avoid a crash”, which caused the sharp turn and tipping.
- March 22, 2006, at 11 pm, the vessel experienced a complete power loss for ~1 hour.
- November 12, 2007, while the ship was en-route from Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Rico, propulsion problems caused ~1 hour late arrival in San Juan port.
- November 5, 2010, the ship experienced malfunction of Diesel Generator (number 5). The unit had to be stopped. Diesel Generator number 1 shut down by automation (cooling water was leaking from its turbocharger and all cylinder heads). Generator 5 was repaired and operational on the next day (Nov 6). Generator 1 was repaired and operational 6 days later (on Nov 11).
- November 25, 2012, USCG reported electrical power loss.
- May 5, 2016, the vessel reported having propulsion problems with its bow thrusters. These units are required only during docking maneuvers and not for the ship’s normal operation (except when comes in and out of ports). It means that the ship can arrive/depart ports only when assisted by tug boats. As the needed tugboat assistance in call port Cozumel (Mexico) was not secured in time, the ship had to skip the port visit. As compensation, all passengers were provided with USD 100 per person in OBC (onboard credit). The incident occurred during the 5-day Mexico cruise from Galveston (itinerary May 2-7) visiting Progreso (May 4) and Cozumel (May 5).
- May 21, 2016, as the ship experienced again bow thruster problems, the 5-day Mexico itinerary (May 21 – 26) was also altered. The scheduled Progreso call was cancelled and the cruise was cut short (ending on May 25). As compensation, to all booked on May 21 passengers was offered USD 100 in OBC plus the option to cancel with a full refund. Cruising passengers were allowed to spend May 26th on the ship in Galveston.
- November 1, 2016, the roundtrip Galveston to Mexico cruise (itinerary Oct 31 – Nov 5) was cancelled due to technical issues (diesel generator problems) resulting in reduced speeds. All passengers received full refund plus 100% future cruise onboard credit and USD 90 PP reimbursement. The next scheduled cruise was also cancelled (Nov 5-10). Booked passengers were fully refunded plus 100% onboard credit in a future Carnival cruise. The Nov 10-14 itinerary was changed (Cozumel cancelled, replaced by Progreso). All booked passengers received USD 50 PP in onboard credit plus 25% future Carnival cruise discount. The cruise ship was scheduled to enter a 2-week long dry dock (on Dec 1, 2016) then repositioned to Port Canaveral FL (starting operations on Dec 15).
Cuban refugees cruise ship rescue incident
- On August 22, 2014, while at sea, the ship’s storm system suggested itinerary course change due to Hurricane storms. The Carnival cruise ship Liberty was on a Eastern Caribbean itinerary with ports of call St Thomas, St Maarten, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk. The alternated course took the vessel close to Cuba. On the next day, officers received a distress call from a small makeshift raft floating near by. The ship deployed a rescue boat and saved all 11 Cuban refugees (migrants). The raft was abandoned and the ship continued the voyage toward St Thomas (USVI). To prevent the Cuban refugees from reaching US territory and taking advantage of the situation, USCG ordered a rendezvous. The Cubans were offloaded onto a USCG cutter and transferred back to Cuba.
- Note: Cruise ship operators have agreed to inform the USCG if they spot Cuban refugees in open sea and to rescue them if needed.
- Similar Carnival cruise ship incidents happened on Carnival Paradise (March 4, 2014, 24 Cubans rescued), on Carnival Ecstasy (March 25, 2014, 41 Cubans rescued), on Carnival Dream (May 7, 2014, 39 Cubans rescued) and on Carnival Breeze (May 9, 2015, 25 Cubans rescued). All refugee boats were both unseaworthy and overcrowded.
Crew & Passenger Death accidents
- November 8, 2010, a 36-year-old female passenger died in her cabin. The woman was found by another passenger lying in bed, not breathing, unresponsive, cold to the touch. CPR was unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead 2 hours later. Investigation revealed the woman had a heart surgery scheduled for April 2010, which was canceled as deemed too risky.
- November 16, 2010, a male passenger was found dead in his cabin. FBI investigated the case as possible criminal conduct.
- May 24, 2011, a male passenger died in his cabin. He was found unresponsive. Case was filed as death from natural causes.
- May 13, 2016, a 33-year-old female passenger went overboard at ~2 am, while the ship was en-route from Galveston to Cozumel (some 200 ml / 320 km off the Galveston coast). The woman (Samantha Broberg, of American origin) was reported missing by her travel companions. Reportedly, she climbed up and sat on a deck railing, then tumbled backwards and plunged into the sea. The overboard fall was confirmed after reviewing the CCTV camera footage. The conducted by USCG 20-hour search and rescue operation failed to find the body. The accident occurred during the 4-day Mexico cruise (itinerary May 12 – 16) round-trip from Galveston Texas.
Crew & Passenger incidents (injuries, crimes)
- February 22, 2007, senior passengers foiled a robbery attempt in call port Limon, Costa Rica. They were on a privately arranged bus tour when 3 men tried to rob them. One of the passengers (a man is his 70s) put one of the robbers into a head lock and eventually killed him after braking his clavicle. The other two criminals fled after all passengers started to defend themselves.
- July 2, 2007, a 29-year-old male passenger fell overboard but was rescued. During the incident, the ship was ~50 ml / 80 km off the Boca Raton FL coast. USCG assets started a rescue operation with 1 helicopter and several boats. After ~1 hour the man was found alive and pulled from the water. Reports said he was heavily intoxicated, drinking for ~12 hours (since the Ft Lauderdale departure). After he and his friends left the casino, the went on an open deck where he climbed into a lifeboat and started cutting the ropes. When the ship’s security staff came and started to climb toward him, he jumped into the water.
- February 24, 2008, a medical emergency for a 15-year-old male passenger caused ~6 hours late arrival in homeport Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale Florida).
- November 19, 2009, a medical emergency (male passenger suffering from possible heart attack) forced the ship to return to San Juan port, 3 hours after leaving Puerto Rico. The incident resulted in itinerary change (Grand Turk port of call was dropped).
- May 28, 2010, while the ship was docked in call port Ocho Rios Jamaica, a male passenger jumped overboard to avoid arrest for sexual assault of a minor. The man (Harold Crooks, of Canadian origin) was soon arrested by the local police.
- July 25, 2010, upon entering into Half Moon Cay (private island in Bahamas), a male crew jumped overboard. He was working as musician on the ship. Code “Bravo starboard side” was announced, the ship lowered a lifeboat and the man was rescued. The incident lasted for ~10 min.
- May 28, 2011, a female passenger suffered an abdominal pain (starting the night before) which became more severe. Still, the woman presented herself to the infirmary 3 hours after departing from Miami FL. After she was diagnosed, she was medevaced via USCG Helicopter and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Case was filed as resulting from preexisting medical condition.
- July 7, 2011, a female passenger sustained injury (fractured right wrist) on Lido Deck. While walking, she slipped on greasy wooden floor outside the galley/kitchen area (starboard).
- July 8, 2011, a female passenger died in cabin while the ship was at sea. The woman was suffering from preexisting medical condition and took the cruise against her doctor’s advice.
- November 19, 2011, a 35-year-old male crew was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor. According to the filed complaint, the man (Kert Clyde Jordan, of Granada origin) worked on the ship as a waiter. He engaged in 2 sexual acts with a 14-year-old female passenger traveling with the family. The two incidents occurred in international waters on Nov 4 and 5, about which she told her family on their return home. Both rapes of the minor were done in a bathroom located on Lido Deck 9. During the incident, the ship was operating on a 7-days Caribbean itinerary (Oct 29 to Nov 5).
- January 29, 2012, a male passenger sustained injury (hip fracture) when he lost balance and fell on the dance floor. The man was disembarked in Cozumel, Mexico, then flew to Miami.
- June 25, 2012, a female passenger sustained injury (fractured left foot) while playing volleyball at the Sports Court on Deck 12.
- March 2, 2013, a male passenger suffered cardiac problems and difficulty in breathing. The man was medevaced by USCG assets to Key West and transported to Lower Keys Medical.
- June 15, 2013, a male passenger sustained injury (fractured right ankle) while basketball on the ships Sports Court (Top Deck 12). The ship was docked in homeport Miami Florida (Cruise Terminal 9). He was disembarked and transported to Jefferson Memorial Hospital.
- March 14, 2014, a 51-year-old male passenger was medevaced by an USCG helicopter ~130 ml / 210 km southwest of call port Key West FL. The ship’s call for medical assistance was made in the Gulf of Mexico en-route to Florida. The man was airlifted and transported to the Key West’s Lower Keys Medical Center.
- August 31, 2014, a 31-year-old male passenger was arrested upon disembarkation in homeport Port Canaveral (Orlando) Florida and charged with drug smuggling. The man (of Granada origin) was caught with 6 kilos of cocaine hidden in his suitcase. The arresting officers obtained the necessary warrants in federal court before the ship arrived in port. The incident occurred after the ship returned from a 7-days Southern Caribbean cruise with itinerary call ports Grand Turk, Oranjestad Aruba and Willemstad Curacao.
- September 12, 2015, a 26-year-old male crew was detained and accused in sexually assaulting a female crew (of Australian origin). The man (of Zimbabwean origin) worked at the ship’s casino. He was not identified by the shipowner Carnival, nor charged with the crime. The investigation was done by the Sex Crimes Division of the Puerto Rico’s CIC (“Criminal Investigation Corps”). According to the CIC’s report, the alleged rape occurred at ~4 am in a crew cabin (Sept 12) while the ship was returning to homeport San Juan Puerto Rico, operating on a 7-days Eastern Caribbean itinerary (Sept 6 to 13) with call ports St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts and St Maarten. Local authorities were informed at ~11 am. Strangely, the investigation was discontinued in the morning of Sept 13. The CIC’s commander announced that the assaulted woman doesn’t want to press charges against her co-worker. The case was closed.
- June 13, 2016, just a few hours after departure from homeport Galveston TX, the ship returned to port due to a medical emergency. According to Carnival Cruise Lines official statement, a 3-year-old girl slipped through the rail and fell down a flight of stairs (between decks 14 and 12). Right after the ship docked, a team of paramedics offloaded the little girl and she was transported to a hospital via ambulance. Upon leaving the cruise ship, the girl was alert and in a stable condition. When the incident occurred, Carnival Liberty was on a 5-day Mexico cruise (itinerary June 13-18) from Galveston to Cozumel and Progreso.
Norovirus cruise illness outbreaks
- November 2006, the ship left port Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy) for a Transatlantic repositioning crossing to USA (Port Everglades / Fort Lauderdale). CDC reported, that during the 16-days long Transatlantic cruise (Nov 3 to 19), a major Norovirus outbreak (gastrointestinal illness) infected a total of 536 passengers (out of 2804, or 19,1%) and 143 crew (out of 1166, or 12,2%). All sick suffered from Norovirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and were quarantined to their cabins. On November 15, the shipowner Carnival Cruise Lines officially announced they will shorten the next itinerary by 2 days for the ship’s extensive cleaning. The November 19 itinerary started out of Fort Lauderdale Florida on Nov 21 (4-day Bahamas cruise). To prevent another Noro virus cruise outbreak, self-service at the Lido buffet was fully suspended. On the next “cleaned ship” itinerary, another 60+ passengers contracted Norovirus.
- April 2009, CDC reported on voyage Apr 18 to 25, a Noro virus outbreak affected 208 passengers (out of 3253, or 6,4%) and 57 crew (out of 1163, or 4,9%).
- Note: When the itinerary doesn’t include US cruise ports, the ship is not required to report to CDC, thus no official illness report would be issued.
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