Getting the Goods on Ocean Dumpers

When it comes to illegal dumping from cruise ships, sometimes the best watchdogs are appaled vacationers who catch the action with their video cameras. In 1993, passengers aboard the Regent Sea witnessed and photographed crew members throwing plastic garbage bags in to the ocean 30 miles off the coast of Florida. Also in 1993, a group of fishermen discovered and partially retrieved more than 25 plastic garbage bags floating several dozen miles of St. Petersburg, Florida. The debris was determined to have come from the Regent Rainbow, another ship operated by Regency Cruises, Inc. Regency received a whopping $250,000 fine this spring for violations of MARPOL, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships.