This story was published more than 3 years ago.
This week the captain of a casino cruiseliner was cleared of wrongdoing after he was initially charged with failing to leave a port with an approaching hurricane coming.
Ship captain Tim Levensaler was charged with ignoring a Coast Guard order to evacuate Port Caneveral, Florida as Hurricane Irma approached earlier this month. He reportedly declined to leave, stating that his ship couldn't outrun the hurricane and leaving would put his crew in jeopardy. Port officials claim that staying in port could have caused catastrophic damage, as the ship could have broken loose.
Levensaler left his ship tied down at the port, and no damage was caused from the storm. Still, he was charged with disobeying the order and a hearing was held on the matter.
Speaking in his defense the captain said, "It's my prerogative not to risk my crew. There was no safe harbor to take it. I know what to do during a hurricane."
The Coast Guard initiated a review into the incident and concluded that the move decision was not a violation and that Levensaler would be cleared.
Still, the port's management team is salty about the decision. Port Canaveral CEO John Murray said, "I'm still of the firm belief that that vessel should not be in the port. It's the wrong place to be. I still believe that."