Carnival Cruise Line Enters Rough Seas With Taxpayers

Cruise CEO tells government they won?t reimburse $800,000 bill for Gulf rescue.
1:43 | 04/14/13

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Transcript for Carnival Cruise Line Enters Rough Seas With Taxpayers
on whether carnival cruise lines should have to pay for any of the rescues, helped from the coast guard after their ships fell into trouble. Some members of congress says yes. Carnival says no. And the law is on their side. Taxpayers footing the bill. Here's abc's linzie janis. Reporter: Passengers living in tents made of bedsheets, with the walls and floors below deck soaked in sewage. They're the unforgettable images onboard the carnival "triumph" after fire left cruisers stranded for days. The ship's more than 4,000 passengers and crew had to be towed to safety by the coast guard. Costing the u.S. Government $780,000. And carnival says it won't be reimbursing taxpayers for the bill, citing maritime tradition, which requires all vessels to help those in trouble. Saying carnival helps in rescues. Senator j. Rockefeller had CHALLENGED CARNIVAL CEOs, Saying, given that you reportedly pay little or nothing in federal taxes, do you intend to reimburse the coast guard? Carnival hit back saying, every state where our ships call, benefits from the dollars spent by cruise lines. Since the disaster, carnival is under intense scrutiny. Carnival needs to stay out of the news if they're going to regain the trust of the traveling public. Reporter: Last week, we learned carnival's "fascination" failed a health inspection, missing a passing grade by one point after inspectors found insects in food areas. And last month, mechanical problems in three ships. Carnival has called in experts to review its fleets. And expects to invest millions in upgrades. And the cruise line is hoping that will mean fewer incidents

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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