Carnival cruise ship accidentally discharges 'gray water' at port in Florida

Carnival Cruise Line confirmed the accidental spillage of “grey water” from a ship docked at a Florida port on Thursday.

The Carnival Elation, which was preparing to depart on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas, was docked at Port Canaveral on Dec. 2 when the incident occurred. According to the cruise line, the grey water — which is waste water generated from the ship’s sinks, baths, galleys and laundry facilities — was accidentally discharged after a valve “failed.”

The Carnival Elation, seen here in the Bahamas in 2019, unintentionally discharged the "grey water" while discharging water from the ship's ballast systems. The cruise line said the accident was caused by the failure of a valve.

The Carnival Elation, seen here in the Bahamas in 2019, unintentionally discharged the "grey water" while discharging water from the ship's ballast systems. The cruise line said the accident was caused by the failure of a valve. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

Carnival did not confirm how much gray water was discharged; local outlet WESH reports 6,000 gallons.

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“Yesterday at Port Canaveral, while Carnival Elation was discharging water from its ballast systems which helps stabilize the ship for navigational purposes, a grey water valve failed and unintentionally discharged gray water from non-sewage waste water systems,” a spokesperson for the cruise line confirmed in a statement. “No sewage was discharged.”

Carnival said the issue was “quickly addressed and resolved” by the crew, and “all appropriate authorities were notified.”

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The director of communications for Port Canaveral told Florida Today that the gray water did not contain “human waste or anything biological” and did not pose “a threat to the environment or wildlife.”

Following the incident, which occurred at approximately 9 a.m., the ship was cleared to depart on its sailing, Carnival confirmed. The Carnival Elation will return to Port Canaveral on Dec. 6.

A representative for Port Canaveral was not immediately available to offer further comment.

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Carnival also come under scrutiny for gray water in April 2019, after the cruise line was accused of illegally discharging the waste-water at a national park in Alaska, among accusations of pollution. Carnival pleaded guilty in June, with the CEO pledging to correct the company’s past mistakes. Carnival Cruise Line was also sentenced to pay a $20 million penalty, per the Associated Press.

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