Study: Cruise ships polluting Florida waters

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Cruise ships are suspected of polluting Florida's waters at least 60 times and Alaska's waters 26 times over a nine-year period, according to an Associated Press computer-assisted analysis of marine pollution records.

Cruise ships were suspected of 172 pollution incidents in U.S. waters from 1991 to Dec. 31, 2000.

The AP compiled the study, the results of which were published this week, by crossing a list of 238 cruise-ship identification numbers with a Coast Guard database that included both proven and alleged incidents from 1991 to Dec. 31, 2000.

The study said cruise ships were responsible for a small fraction of the 194,075 cases recorded for marine polluters. Oil tankers, tugboats, fishing vessels and passenger craft were all responsible for more pollution than cruise ships, according to the study.

Among ships cited for pollution incidents were Carnival Cruise Line's Ecstasy in 1992; Premier Cruise Line's Oceanic, which was cited five times in 1993, and Premier's Big Red Boat II in 1997.

Most cruise ship pollution cases are minor and accidental, said Michael Crye, president of the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL).

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