Today, as the Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed into the Mobile, Alabama port, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, issued the following statement:
"The reports of this incident are deeply disturbing, and I offer my sincere sympathies for everyone on board who has had to endure this ordeal.
"I commend the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board for announcing an immediate joint investigation.
"Last February, following the grounding of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on cruise ship safety. I expect the Italian government will release their final investigation report on that marine casualty later this year. I intend to fully evaluate the findings of that report, as well as the final report of the Coast Guard and NTSB joint investigation when it is available, to determine the best steps moving forward.
"Maritime safety must be a top priority, especially for passenger vessels. Ocean cruises usually provide a pleasurable experience for passengers and they provide significant economic benefits for our country, but they will be successful only to the extent that the public trusts cruise ships to be safe and reliable.
"I look forward to working with Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter to do everything within our subcommittee's jurisdiction to ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard and the cruise ship industry remain vigilant to prevent these incidents from occurring in the future. While travel by sea is by nature unpredictable, our commitment to maritime safety must not waiver if we are to ensure that ocean travel remains enjoyable and safe."