A Carnival Cruise Lines ship that drifted off the coast of Southern California is being towed back to shore after an engine room fire caused the 113,000 ton vessel to lose power. The Carnival Splendor, carrying approximately 3,300 guests and 1,100 staff, was en route to a seven day cruise through the Mexican Riviera.
The ship is expected to reach land in San Diego with the assistance of tugboats by Thursday night.
None of the passengers on board were injured and all guests will receive both a refund and equal credit toward a future cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines.
"We know this has been an extremely trying situation for our guests, and we sincerely thank them for their patience," Carnival chief executive Gerry Cahill said in a statement. "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."
The Carnival Splendor is unfortunately another vacation nightmare to add to a long list of cruise ship incidents. Here are four others, courtesy of the Surge Desk:
1. Iceberg, straight ahead! How can you start a list of cruise ship disasters without first mentioning the Titanic? The legendary White Star Line vessel -- immortalized in the 1997 film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet -- sank just four days into its journey from Southampton, England to New York City, killing 1,517 people to become one of the most fatal peacetime maritime disasters ever.
2. The Greek Sea Diamond. In early April of 2007, the staff of the Greek Sea Diamond was forced to evacuate nearly 1,600 passengers during a three-hour rescue mission after the 469-foot ship scraped against a volcanic reef in the Aegean Sea.
3. Unwanted gastrointestinal passengers. Celebrity Cruises made a wise decision to delay the departure of the Celebrity Mercury and instead conduct an "extensive and thorough sanitizing" of the ship after over 350 passengers returned from a cruise with an unidentified gastrointestinal illness.
4. Beware of Pirates. To be fair, the ship was going through Somalia. The Seabourn Spirit, a small cruise vessel operated by Seabourn Cruise Lines, was attacked in May, 2007 by two groups of Somali pirates on machine gun armed speed boats as it passed through the coast of Somalia. Luckily, none of the 151 civilian passengers were harmed and the pirates were eventually deterred using a long range acoustic device.
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