Coast Guard looks into Carnival cruise ship passengers feeling sick from fumes

Carnival Cruise Ships
Posted at 9:45 AM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 16:30:32-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Several passengers on the Carnival cruise ship are claiming people started getting sick after a strong odor filled parts of the ship.

Passenger Vanessa Burgard says she was staying in her room on the second floor when she started smelling chemicals.

She said the smell started two to three days before the ship docked, and despite requests from passengers to end the week-long voyage early, Carnival refused.

Vanessa says she and other passengers were told several times the odor was normal, but she knew something was wrong when a military veteran started seizing due to the smell.

"They have no protocol of what to do with this," Burgard said. "It took them over 45 minutes to respond to the guy having a seizure. Passengers had to tend to him."

News 3 spoke with that veteran. He and his wife came all from Boston to celebrate their honeymoon. The newlyweds say their romantic getaway was interrupted when they started smelling what they thought to be diesel gas blowing through the vents.

The veteran says he became so delirious he nearly took his own life.

"I became so insane from the fumes that I tried to jump off the ship," said Michael Gately.

Both the Gatelys and Burgard told us they were offered compensation in cash credit along with several thousand dollars in cruise ship credit if they signed an NDA. The parties refused.

Carnival Cruise Line responded with a statement, saying:

"Some guests aboard Carnival Magic were impacted by an odor from an exterior painting project yesterday. The ship’s crew quickly reacted and provided assistance to the guests. Carnival Magic returned to Norfolk, Va., this morning as scheduled and all guests have disembarked."

News 3 reached out to the Coast Guard and we've been told that they are looking into the incident.