Published on : Saturday, December 3, 2016
The United States Department of Justice announced that Princess Cruise Lines has plead guilty to seven felony charges connected to the deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up.
Princess Cruises, one of 10 brands owned by the world’s largest cruise holiday company, has been ordered to pay a $40m (£32m) fine for illegally dumping thousands of gallons of oil and waste off the UK coast.
The illegal practices came to light in 2013 after an engineer on-board Caribbean Princess discovered a so-called “magic pipe”, which was being used to bypass the vessel’s usual equipment and discharge oily waste. The ship was sailing off the UK coast at the time, and the engineer informed authorities and resigned from his post, when it docked in Southampton.
Authorities later learned the 952ft ship had been illegally discharging oily water into the ocean since 2005.
John Cruden, assistant attorney general for the US justice department’s environmental division, said the Caribbean Princess “violated the law, they covered it up and they lied about it”.
In a statement Princess said it was “extremely disappointed” that employees had violated company policy and federal law regarding discharge of pollutants. The cruise line said it cooperated with investigators after the magic pipe was unveiled in 2013 and had taken numerous steps to fix the problem.