A huge cruise ship carrying hundreds of passengers was delayed in setting sail after inadvertently spilling what is believed to be soot into the water.
Carnival Magic had been due to depart on Wednesday (1 November) evening from Grand Turk, the largest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, when the incident occurred.
Crew members, line handlers, and local authorities could be seen inspecting the discharge from various sites, reports Cruise Radio.
Passenger Chuck Richards shared pictures on Twitter/X from onboard the 3,690-capacity vessel, which shows a black mass spread across the sea.
He understood the discharge was caused by “brief power failure” and came from “an advanced cooling system.”
Mr Richards later posted that the ship disembarked from the port at 8.46pm local time – more than two hours after its scheduled departure.
Another passenger, James Robinson, said the “power was out for one minute”, telling Cruise Hive: “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.”
Despite the late sailing, the rest of the itinerary is unlikely to be affected. It’s more than 100 miles from Grand Turk to its next stop, Amber Cove in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic, with the ship due on Thursday morning local time.
The Independent has contacted Carnival Cruise Line for further information, and has also approached the port in Grand Turk.
Carnival Cruise Line is part of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company and also home to lines such as P&O Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn and Costa Cruises.
The cruise industry has made repeated pledges to move towards a green model of operating, though a new report in the summer found that cruise ships were responsible for more than four times the sulphuric emissions into Europe’s atmosphere than all of the continent’s car last year.