MIAMI (CBS4) - The new high speed ship, which boasts the service of taking gamblers to the Bahamian island of Bimini and back in one day, has already hit rough waters.
According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, Resorts World's Bimini SuperFast is docked until further notice after failing to complete Coast Guard safety requirements.
Coast Guard Chief of Inspection Division spokesperson Janet Espino-Young told the paper operators failed tests to gauge response in emergency situations. The crew was unable to complete the requirement that passengers needed to be off the ship and on lifeboats within a 30 minute time period. Emergency sources of power and the mechanism which allowed the lifeboats to be lowered into the water also malfunctioned, said Espino-Young.
There was an "overall lack of proficiency by the crew to respond to an emergency situation," she told the Herald. "Even if it is a two- to three-hour trip to Bimini, we need to make sure passengers are not put in high-stress, threatening situations," she said.
The boat, which could hold 1,500 people, was to be christened last Friday and begin service to the Resorts World Bimini casino. A new timetable for its launch is to be determined.
Resorts World, which is owned by Genting, released a statement Tuesday afternoon:
"Resorts World considers the safety of the Bimini SuperFast's passengers and crew our top priority. For this reason, we are working closely with the US Coast Guard to complete all outstanding safety checks prior to launching regular twice-a-day service between Miami and Bimini. Please visit www.RWBimini.com for the latest updates and to make a Resorts World Bimini reservation."
Genting, the $46 billion casino and entertainment company that has been trying for two years to bring destination casinos to Florida.
Since Genting hasn't been able to bring a casino to Miami, it will be able to bring a sizeable chunk of Miami to a casino.
On board, passengers can play poker, blackjack, slots, craps and roulette once the ship enters international waters and continue playing at the new casino on the island.
Genting is the same company which purchased the old Miami Herald building in 2011 with grand plans to turn it into a casino.
That idea failed in the state legislature.
But now, Genting is working with Miami-Dade County on a deal to dock the SuperFast at PortMiami to the tune of $7 million a year in rent.
Genting will also foot the bill for renovations to the long-vacant Terminal H. Those will run about $10 million.
Commissioners still have to approve the agreement next month.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)
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