FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — Sen. Bill Nelson has called for the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the voyage that saw passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas confined to their cabins overnight Sunday when the ship encountered heavy weather.
"The thing about this storm was that it was forecast for days. So why in the world would a cruise ship with thousands of passengers go sailing right into it?" Nelson said Monday on the Senate floor.
As the ship headed back to Port Liberty, NJ, the NTSB issued a statement saying:
"The incident occurred in international waters and involved a Bahamian-flagged vessel, and we are actively engaged with our U.S. and international partners to determine what would be the best course of action, in accordance with established international protocols.
"In addition, we have received correspondence from Sen. Bill Nelson urging that the NTSB review this incident as part of its investigation into the El Faro accident. That investigation includes a weather group that is investigating TOTE Maritime's decision-making processes regarding vessel operations in hurricanes and other heavy weather occurrences. The Anthem of the Seas incident may provide us an additional opportunity to learn best practices that cruise line operators employ for operating in heavy weather."