Gulf of Mexico

Carnival ship fire quickly extinguished as ship wallows in Gulf awaiting tug

 

A few hours after an early morning fire killed the propulsion of a Carnival Cruise Lines ship, the Carnival Triumph rested 150 miles from a Mexican port waiting for a tugboat to arrive.

crabin@miamiherald.com

The Carnival Triumph, a Galveston, Texas-based passenger cruise ship with the theme “Great Cities Around the World,” might have been better off sitting at port, as a court initially ordered.

As of Monday morning the 14-year old ship was going nowhere, operating on emergency generator power after a fire Sunday in one of the diesel generators killed its propulsion. The fire was quickly put out by an automatic fire extinguishing system, and none of the 4,229 passengers or crew are said to be in any danger

All were waiting patiently as a giant tug boat trudged toward the Triumph, now operating under generator power, with the intention of hauling the 100,000 ton, 893-foot vessel to the nearest port in Progreso, Mexico. It is expected in port some time Wednesday afternoon. Carnival Cruise Lines headquarters are in Miami-Dade.

“The cause of the fire is still to be determined,” said Carnival spokesman Vance Guliksen. In a brief news release, Guliksen said “there were no casualties to guests or crew.”

He said all passengers will be flown back to the United States and will be fully refunded.. Carnival said it will cover any additional transportation expenses. Passengers will also receive a free future cruise.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday another Carnival ship, the Carnival Elation, was on the scene transferring food and beverages.

According to Carnival, some basic auxiliary power has been restored, cabin toilets are working on part of the ship and some elevators are operational. The dining areas are serving hot coffee and limited hot food.

The $420 million Triumph made news early last year after the family of a German tourist killed in the Costa Concordia disaster in the Mediterranean filed a $10 million lawsuit against Carnival. A judge found the family had standing, and ordered the ship held at port in Galveston. The court later allowed the ship to move between ports until a hearing takes place.

The lawsuit contends that Carnival Cruise Lines is the corporate parent of the Costa Concordia.

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