(CruiseMapper emailed accident report by Guy Auxer) Gulf of Mexico, 7:12 AM, February 12, 2020, aboard the Viking Sky.
The Captain apprised us yesterday evening around 6:30 PM that there was a fuel problem, that we would be altering course to Miami, skipping Progreso and Merida Mexico. The Captain stated we would be heading back to Miami.
We are currently 50 miles (~80 km) northwest of Arroyos de Mantua Cuba heading north-northeast. Our speed over the last 12 hours has been approximately 7.5 knots (9 mph / 14 kph). Prior to this we have been making 18+ knots (21 mph / 13 kph) so our pace has slowed considerably.
We made about 110 miles (~180 km) in 12 hours and there is another 340 miles (~550 km) to go so it appears we are going to crawl back for another 36 to 48 hours. The previously scheduled return to Miami was to be Friday at 8:00 AM. Lots of questions. I am very curious to hear what he has to say. His accent (Captain's) was so heavy it was very difficult to hear what he said.
UPDATE: There was a meeting this morning where the Captain and Chief Engineer explained what is occurring.
As explained this morning:
When mixing fuel from an old supply purchased in December with a new supply purchased in January the mixture began to clog the filtration system. The reason is still undetermined. The old supply was before a new environmental regulation came to be in January, the new supply has less sulfur than the old.
Captain contacted Port Authorities in Progreso to get fuel but was told it would be three days before they could supply us. The ports in the US have a regulation that an incoming ship must have two days of fuel available when they return. Port of Miami would not allow an early return without requiring that all passengers disembark which would put all of those flying home in need of hotel or airfare.
Thus the Captain determined that the new fuel supply could not be used due to risk to the engines until they could find out what is causing the problem. He also determined to return to Miami at a reduced speed thus arriving on schedule and assuring the two days of reserve fuel.
Good decision by the Captain.
The accident occurred during the 7-day Turquoise Caribbean Seas cruise (itinerary Feb 7-14) roundtrip from homeport Miami (Florida USA) with call ports Key West (Florida), Belize City (Belize) and in Mexico Cozumel (Feb 11) and Progreso (Feb 12).
For other Viking Sky accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.