Airtours said its Carousel Nassau cruise liner, damaged after hitting rocks while leaving the port of Calica, near Cancun, Mexico, was making its own way to a dry dock in Mobile, Ala. for damage assessment. The vessel was leaving port on Sunday at 0200 local time, on the first day of its cruise, under the control of a local pilot, when a gust of wind caused it to strike rocks, damaging one of its propellers and puncturing a fuel oil tank, the spokesman said. He said no more than seven tons of oil were spilled, the crew contained most of the spill within a boom, and dispersed the oil with a mixture of chemicals and detergents. There have been no reports of pollution from the spill, he added.
At the time of the incident there were 924 American, Canadian and British passengers on board. The remainder of the passengers are staying in Cancun and will receive a refund, the spokesman said. The 23,000 ton vessel was built in 1970 and was taken over by Airtours' Sun Cruises in 1995 after undergoing a major refit