Carnival Cruise Line crews are in clean-up mode after Carnival Magic accidentally discharged soot while preparing to depart the pier in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands. The vessel has been delayed, and the cruise line confirms it’s likely due to a brief power outage.

Passengers onboard Carnival Magic were met with an unexpected situation after the cruise ship discharged soot into the water, causing what initially looked like a significant oil leak coming from the Dream-class vessel.

The incident occurred after a brief power outage on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, as the ship was preparing to leave port. The news first broke on social media through Cruise Hive’s dedicated Carnival Cruise Line Group, with photos posted by passenger James Robinson onboard.

“There was a power outage. The power was out for one minute,” Robinson described.It came back on, everything normal. But now there is a giant oil slick on the back of the ship. The officers were on the pier, visibly upset.”

Carnival Magic Soot Discharge in Grand Turk (Photo Credit: James Robinson)

Robinson’s description of the discharge as an “oil slick” was prior to the assessment by the ship’s environmental team that identified the debris as soot.

The Carnival Magic team is working on the clean-up of a soot discharge from the ship’s Exhaust Gas Control Systems (EGCS) that occurred while preparing for departure today from Grand Turk. A momentary power outage likely contributed to the incident,a statement from a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson said.

“The ship’s departure has been delayed while we complete the clean-up, and all appropriate authorities have been informed. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and will complete the proper clean-up and address any technical issues with the ship’s EGCS equipment. Carnival Magic’s itinerary should not be impacted.”

Carnival Magic was to have departed Grand Turk at 6 p.m. after spending the day in port, but did not leave until shortly after 8:30 p.m. once the cleanup was completed.

Undoubtedly, an investigation will be held to determine exactly how the power failed, what systems were affected, and what, if any, safeguards did not function as intended that resulted in this unfortunate incident.

Both cruise lines and port communities take environmental concerns very seriously, and any necessary changes will certainly be made to prevent such an incident from happening again.

The 128,000-gross-ton Carnival Magic is currently sailing a 6-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary that departed Miami, Florida on Sunday, October 29. The ship has already called on Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, and Grand Turk was the vessel’s second port of call.

Photo Credit: Ihor Koptilin / Shutterstock

Following Grand Turk, Carnival Magic will spend Thursday, November 2 in Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Despite the delay in departing Grand Turk, the ship’s scheduled 8 a.m. arrival in Grand Turk is not expected to be impacted, as the two ports of call are just 112 miles (180 kilometers) apart.

The cruise ship’s typical cruising speed is 22.5 knots (26 miles per hour / 42 kilometers per hour), meaning the ship can cover the distance between Grand Turk and Amber Cove in just over four hours. Even with the later than planned departure, the ship still has more than 10 hours to reach the Dominican Republic on time.

Amber Cove is the ship’s last port of call on the current itinerary, and another day at sea will bring the vessel back to Miami on Saturday, November 4.

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