Engine room fire disables Carnival Splendor

Engine room fire disables Splendor

The first of two tugs from Ensenada, Mexico, was reported to have reached the disabled cruise ship Carnival Splendor earlier today.

When both tugs were on station and current conditions right, they were expected to slowly two the vessel -- at 113,323 gt one of the world's largest cruise ships -- to Ensenada to disembark passengers.

The Carnival Splendor is presently located 150 miles south of San Diego and has 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew members aboard. They faced a second day without key hotel systems, including air conditioning, hot food service, and telephones, following an engine room fire that broke out yesterday morning. Last night, the ship's engineers were able to restore toilet service to all cabins and public bathrooms, as well as cold running water. The ship's crew continues to actively work to restore other services. though Carnival said last night that "the ship's crew is actively working to restore partial services."

No injuries to passengers or crew have been reported.

Units from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy have been deployed to the scene.

At the request of Coast Guard District 11 in San Diego, 3rd Fleet diverted the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan from its current training maneuvers to a position south of the cruise ship to facilitate the delivery of needed supplies, That involved transfering 35 pallets of supplies by Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 carrier on-board delivery aircraft to Ronald Reagan. Once aboard Ronald Reagan, the supplies were to be delivered by helicopter to Carnival Splendor.

The ship became disabled after a fire was detected in the aft engine room at approximately 6.a.m, (U.S. Pacific Standard Time) yesterday.

Carnival said that the ship has been operating on auxiliary generators , with engineers unable to restore additional power to the vessel.

Though passengers were initially asked to move from their cabins to the ship's upper open deck areas, they later regained access to their cabins and were able to move about the ship. Bottled water and cold food items are being provided.

The current voyage has been terminated and Carnival says guests will be receiving a full refund along with reimbursement for transportation costs. Additionally, they will receive a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for this voyage.

"We know this has been an extremely trying situation for our guests and we sincerely thank them for their patience. Conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we sincerely apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring. The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority and we are working to get our guests home as quickly as possible," said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Carnival Splendor was on the first leg of a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise that departed yesterday, Nov. 7, from Long Beach, Calif.Yesterday was a scheduled day at sea. The ship's normal itinerary includes stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Fincantieri-built ship first entered service in July 2008.

November 9, 2010