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Entries in Cruise Ship (17)

Monday
Feb112013

Carnival Cruise Ship Stranded in Gulf of Mexico

File photo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)(NEW YORK) -- A Carnival cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire broke out Sunday morning, representatives for the cruise line said.

The fire was extinguished aboard the Carnival Triumph on Sunday and no injuries were reported.  The ship, however, lost power and is relying on a backup generator as it drifts 477 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, Carnival said in a statement.

The vessel is currently without propulsion and the ship is operating on emergency generator power, according to a statement from Carnival.  The ship’s technical crew has determined the vessel will need to be towed to port.  A tugboat is en route to the ship’s location and will tow the vessel to Progreso, Mexico, which is the closest port to the ship.

The ship is expected to arrive in Progreso Wednesday afternoon and guests will be flown from there back to the United States, Carnival said.

The Carnival Triumph departed Galveston on Thursday with 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board for a Mexican cruise and was due to return to the port on Monday.

The passengers have been asked to remain in the ship’s public areas and open decks for their comfort, and they are being provided with food and refreshments, Carnival said.

“All the passengers are staying in the public areas of the vessel and the open decks, cause there’s no air conditioning,” Coast Guard Lt. Julio Gonzalez said.  “The air conditioning is not working right now.”

But he said it appears there is enough food and water for the passengers and crew on board.

“As of right now, it hasn’t been a concern for the cruise line, for the cruise ship captain or for the company,” Gonzalez said.

Passengers aboard the wayward ship will receive a full refund, Carnival said.

Guests booked on the next voyage, scheduled for a Monday departure, have been given the option to cancel and receive a full refund, according to Carnival, or wait for further information.

The Coast Guard is sending a 210-foot cutter to monitor the situation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct312012

Passengers Stranded by Sandy Will Have Option to Leave Cruise Ship

Norwegian Cruise Line(NEW YORK) -- A cruise ship stranded by Hurricane Sandy will call on Boston Wednesday, giving passengers the option to disembark as the ship loads up on fuel and provisions before heading back to sea.

Norwegian Cruise Line's ship -- the Gem -- was due to arrive in New York City Monday, but couldn't because the Port of New York was closed.  The ship was returning from a nine-day trip to the Eastern Caribbean, sailing round-trip from New York City.

The port remains closed, but the ship is able to go to Boston on Wednesday, according to a statement posted on the company's Facebook page Tuesday night.

"Norwegian Gem will call in Boston tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31, at 9:30 a.m. to take on provisions and fuel. Guests will have the opportunity to go ashore in Boston," it said.  "The ship will depart Boston at 3 p.m. and sail toward New York and remain at sea until the Port of New York reopens. Norwegian Gem's captain will continue to keep guests informed."

"Guests who wish to disembark in Boston may do so.  For those guests who purchased air through Norwegian, we will assist with re-booking their air travel subject to availability as Logan International Airport is open.  We are also offering complimentary phone and Internet services for guests," the statement continued.

But because the cruise was scheduled to end in New York, the vast majority of passengers likely either live in the New York City area or are ticketed to fly home from New York City.  While the airlines have issued flexible travel policies, most stipulate the departure and origination cities must remain the same.  Passengers who choose to leave the ship in Boston might be out additional money for a hotel room as they wait for a flight, or will have to figure out how to get back to New York City and then again find a place to stay while waiting for a flight.

For some, it might make sense to simply stay onboard the Gem until the Port of New York reopens.  It's unclear when that will be.

Cruise line spokeswoman Vanessa Lane on Monday told ABC News that all passengers on the ship "are comfortable."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

Missing Cruise Passenger Had Troubled Relationship With Boyfriend

ABC News(MIAMI) -- The mystery of 47-year-old Fariba Amani's disappearance is deepening and her family is now pointing an accusatory finger at her boyfriend, saying he knows more than he is telling investigators.

The Canadian woman vanished from the Bahamas Celebration somewhere on the high seas between the Bahamas and Florida on Feb. 29.

The disappearance triggered an 84-hour, 10,000 square mile Coast Guard search for Amani after her boyfriend Ramiz Golshani, 46, reported her missing to Celebration cruise crew members shortly after it returned to port.

Police and the FBI boarded the ship and launched investigation. Yet not a single trace of the mother of two was found.

Now Amani's family hints that her boyfriend, whom they never met during his 8-month relationship with Amani, likely knows more than he is letting on. Particularly disturbing say the family, is Golshani's silence.

"He has not reached out to us. He has not contacted us," said Saloumeh Amani, Fariba's sister.

All of them live near Vancouver, British Columbia. Saloumeh Amani said she had been suspicious of Gholshani ever since her sister told her the relationship was souring, and that she suspected Golshani was cheating.

Fariba Amani went as far as consulting a private detective, but later decided not to employ him because she feared Golshani's reaction.

Golshani told The Vancouver Sun Tuesday night that he has told investigators everything he knows, but has remained quiet – not even speaking to Amani's family – since returning to British Columbia because of what an emotional time it has been.

Golshani is not a suspect, and police and the FBI would not comment other than to say the investigation is ongoing.

Golshani told investigators that they'd been together after the Celebration Bahamas left port in Freeport, Bahamas, bound for the Port of Palm Beach. He said he last saw Fariba Amani at the ship's gift shop before heading to the casino around 1 a.m. He says he went to sleep alone.

When the ship reached the Port of Palm Beach at around 7 a.m. Golshani said he awoke and began searching the ship for her. At around 8 a.m. he alerted the crew. Two searches ensued as the ship's passengers began to disembark the 1,100 passenger ship, but they did not find her.

Customs officials confirm she was on the ship when it left Freeport around 8 p.m. because every passenger must swipe a card to get on or off the ship. But her whereabouts over the next 12 hours as the ship plowed through international waters remain a mystery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar072012

Man Sentenced for Cruise Ship Prank

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A California man will be buoyed to a jail cell for the next two months after he pleaded guilty to drunkenly dropping a cruise ship’s anchor while it was sailing from Mexico to Florida.

Rick Ehlert, 45, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was ordered to spend four months in incarceration -- two in jail and two in home confinement, followed by three years of probation. He will also have to pay a $7,500 fine and attend substance abuse counseling.

Ehlert dropped the stern anchor of the MS Ryndam as it was traveling in international waters in the early morning hours of Nov. 27, 2010. Shortly after dropping anchor, he also deployed a life buoy.

“According to special agents with the United States Coast Guard Investigative Service, free release of a cruise ship anchor would be expected to result in damage,” court documents stated.

The documents added that Ehlert’s actions could have damaged the ship’s rudder or punctured it, causing it to sink.

The ship was at a standstill for three hours before employees were able to get back on course.

When the ship docked in Tampa, Ehlert was questioned by FBI and U.S. Coast Guard agents. He admitted he had stepped into an off-limits area and donned work gloves in order to release the anchor. Ehlert told investigators his 50-foot boat had a similar anchor system, so he was familiar with how to operate it.

“Many people have asked me why I dropped the anchor,” Ehlert wrote in a letter of apology to the ship’s captain, according to the Tampa Tribune. “I believe that I was intrigued by the machinery and curious to see if I could operate it. I do remember trying to stop the anchor once it started moving, but it just kept going faster.”

Judge Steven Merryday called the case a “bothersome crime.”

Holland America did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb052012

Hundreds of Cruise Passengers Infected with Norovirus

Getty(PORT EVERGLADES, Fla.) -- About two hundred people who traveled on Princess Cruise lines got more than they expected on their voyages this weekend as passengers and crew members on the Crown Princess and the Ruby Princess allegedly became infected with norovirus.

The Crown Princess returned from a seven-day cruise Saturday while the Ruby Princess returned Sunday morning, both in Port Everglades. According to ABC News affiliate Local 10 in Miami, as many as 240 people reported cases of gastrointestinal illness while sailing aboard the two separate cruises.

In a statement released Saturday, the cruise company said: "We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to determine the cause of the illness."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Minn. Community Prays for Retirees Missing in Italian Cruise Wreck

Laura Lezza/Getty Images(WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn.) -- Friends of missing retirees Jerry and Barbara Heil are planning a prayer service for the Minnesota couple, who haven’t been heard from since the cruise ship they were on capsized off the coast of Tuscany last Friday night.

On Tuesday, divers recovered five bodies from the wreckage of the Concordia Costa -- four men and a woman -- although it’s unclear if the Heils were among them.

“At this point we don’t have anything new to report,” said the latest posting on the Heil family’s blog.  “We will await word from the U.S. Embassy and Italian authorities on the newly discovered passengers.  Please continue to pray for the other families and the safety of the rescuers.”

The uncertainty has prompted a 24-hour prayer vigil at the church the Heils attend.

“The sense from fellow parishioners is that there is still a lot of hope,” said Dr. Larry Erickson, the parish administrator at the Church of St. Pius X in White Bear Lake.  The 1,500-member parish will hold a prayer service for the Heils on Wednesday night.

Sixty-nine-year-old Jerry, a retired state worker, and Barbara, 70, a cancer survivor, attended mass every morning, and would often come early to pray the rosary.  Their absence leaves a void.

“I see Jerry and Barb every day.  It’s a different kind of missing them right now,” said Erickson.

The Heils are parents to four grown children and have 15 grandchildren.  They are well known for their devotion to family and faith.  Friends describe them as a quiet couple who would volunteer to run church dinners, make meals for those in need and drive neighbors to medical appointments.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Woman Dies, Man Injured After Fall from Queen Mary Cruise Ship

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONG BEACH, Calif.) -- A 26-year-old woman appeared intoxicated before she plummeted to her death from the docked Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, Calif., police said Tuesday.

Her boyfriend was hospitalized after he jumped in an attempt to save her.

Police are not releasing the identity of the Long Beach woman until her family is notified, according to spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.

The woman and her boyfriend were apparently exiting the ship, which functions as a hotel and entertainment venue, via a walkway to the mainland when the incident occurred. The walkway connects the fourth level of the 237-foot tall ship with the dock.

The woman appeared intoxicated and was seen climbing up the fence of the 75-foot-high walkway before she fell, according to witness statements.

The boyfriend, 40, whose identity has not yet been released, shouted for help before jumping into the water to try and rescue the woman. A ship employee and two police officers also entered the water to rescue the woman.

She was transported in critical condition to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after, Pratt said.

Her boyfriend was also treated at the hospital for hypothermia, Pratt said. The air temperature was in the 30 degree range when the event occurred, she noted. The two police officers were treated at the scene and released.

The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday, she said. Police have ruled the death an accident.

The Queen Mary has been docked in Long Beach since it retired as a transatlantic cruise ship in 1967.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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