July 18, 2006

Cruise ship lists heavily off Florida coast

MIAMI (Reuters) - A new cruise ship listed heavily after
leaving Port Canaveral in central Florida on Tuesday, injuring
some of its passengers, the ship's operator, Princess Cruises,

The Coast Guard said it was not yet clear how far the ship,
which has a capacity of 4,800 passengers and crew, had listed.

Princess Cruises, a California-based unit of Carnival
Corp., issued a statement saying: "Crown Princess experienced
an unexpected list to the port side as she began sailing north
toward her final port of New York.

"The ship is safe, and seaworthy and we are currently
investigating the cause of the list. We understand that some
passengers were injured as the ship sharply turned and we are
in the process of determining the number of injuries and their

A company spokeswoman said Princess Cruises was not
disclosing the number of people injured when the incident
occurred at about 3:40 p.m. EDT. CNN reported 30 people were

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska said the ship
listed because of a problem in the steering mechanism.

The Port Canaveral captain had issued an order to the ship
to stay offshore until inspectors can determine if the vessel
is safe to enter the port, Brzuska said.

"We don't want it to have another steering casualty in the
port," he said.

Crown Princess, which is 947 feet long and weighs nearly
114,000 tons, was launched just last month.