Entries in Coast Gaurd (2)


Carnival Splendor Passengers Begin Calling Out from Ailing Ship

The Carnival Splendor adrift at sea. Photo Courtesy - U.S. Navy(SAN DIEGO) -- Passengers aboard the ailing Carnival Splendor began getting a strong enough cellular signal to make phone calls out to worried friends and families Wednesday, telling those on land that they pass their time playing cards and waiting for Coast Guard food drops.

Passenger Gordon Gilbreath told ABC's San Diego affiliate KGTV that after initial fear and uncertainty, they were in better spirits knowing the Coast Guard was nearby.

"A lot of people that are in the inside cabins, it's been pitch black for several days and most of those folks have been up on the decks and a lot of them have been sleeping on the decks with their blankets and so on," Gilbreath said.

"You know it gets cold, like during the night it's been pretty cold so the rooms get cold, so we've got a lot of extra blankets," he said. "It's been quite an ordeal, I have to tell you."

Monday morning, when an engine room fire knocked out power to the hulking cruise ship, passengers were scared, knowing they were all alone in the middle of the ocean, he said.

"The first day or two like when we were in a complete blackout and there was no power at all, you know, we were just kind of floating out in the ocean with absolutely nothing," Gilbreath said. "Now people are doing a lot better."

With the slow trip back to port in San Diego now underway, passengers are left to contend with the monotony of passing time on the mostly powerless ship. After several days adrift and only some of the ships toilets now properly functioning, there were reports that the ship smells badly. And there are complaints that the bars are closed.

Carnival announced Wednesday that in addition to the intermittent cell signals, the ship's phones are also working on a limited basis and guests were allowed to make complimentary calls home.

The ship, currently being towed by a tugboat named "Chihuahua," is expected to reach San Diego on Thursday, and hundreds of families will breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Carnival has offered the Splendor passengers a full refund, plus transportation costs and a free subsequent cruise.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


First Tugboat, Supplies Reach Stranded Cruise Ship

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy(ENSENADA, Mexico) – One of two tugboats headed for the stranded cruise ship off of the coast of Mexico Tuesday has reached its destination and will await the arrival of another before the vessel can be pulled to shore.

Food and supplies have also begun to reach the Carnival Splendor, which was left stranded on its way to Mexico from Long Beach, California, after a fire broke out in an engine room Monday, leaving the ship without power.

The cruise ship has been running on auxiliary generators, but engineers have not been able to restore additional power, leaving 3,299 guests and 1,167 crew members onboard without telephones, flushing toilets, air conditioning and hot-food service. 

The U.S. Navy dispatched the USS Ronald Reagan at the request of the Coast Guard to transport 50-thousand tons of food that was provided by Carnival.

The ship is stranded off Mexico’s coast, approximately 150 miles south of San Diego.  Once hooked, the cruise ship will be towed to San Diego where it is expected to arrive late Thursday.

Carnival is also in the process of making any hotel and flight arrangements necessary for their guests.

Coast Guard officials aboard the Splendor tell ABC News that all passengers appear to be fine, despite three who suffered panic attacks on Monday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio