Carnival told U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia in a recent letter that maritime tradition is to render assistance to anyone in need. Rockefeller asked Carnival if it would reimburse the Coast Guard nearly $780,000 in costs to respond to the Carnival Triumph when it lost power in February after an engine fire.
Thousands of passengers were stranded for five days in squalid conditions while the Triumph was towed to Alabama for repairs.
Carnival told Rockefeller that its ships are frequently called upon to help other damaged vessels or with rescues at sea.
Rockefeller is calling the response shameful.
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