Fire Leaves Cruise Ship Stranded

Monday morning the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a fire onboard the 952-foot cruise ship, Carnival Splendor.

Three Coast Guard cutters, a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft, a vessel in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, a Mexican Navy 140-foot patrol boat and aircraft responded.

The ship, en route from Long Beach, California to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was 150 miles south of San Diego when a fire was discovered in an aft engine room. Crews extinguished the fire but smoke remained in the area for several hours.

None of the 3,299 passengers or 1,167 crewmembers aboard were injured in the early morning fire.

In a statement released Monday, Carnival Cruise Lines said, "The ship has been operating on auxiliary generators and engineers have been unable to restore additional power to the vessel. As a result, the current voyage is being terminated. Tugboats are currently en route to the ship which is located off the coast of Mexico, approximately 200 miles south of San Diego. The tugs are expected to reach the ship around midday local time today and will tow the vessel to Ensenada, Mexico in an effort to get the guests home as quickly as possible.

Currently several key hotel systems, including air conditioning, hot food service, and telephones are not available. 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.
The U.S. Coast Guard remains in the area to ensure the safety of the guest and crew. Carnival announced they will be issuing a full refund, including transportation costs to the passengers onboard.