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Stranded cruise ship Splendor could be in San Diego by Thursday

by Jorge Hernandez on November 10, 2010

Passengers stranded off the coast of Mexico aboard the Carnival cruise ship Splendor will likely have to wait at least another day before they are on dry ground. U.S. Coast Guard officials say that they are planning to tow the ship into San Diego, California, a task that could be completed by the end of the day on Thursday, ABC News reports.

The ship became disabled on Monday after a fire knocked out power to the vessel's engines. As a result, the nearly 4,500 passengers on board have been left without heat, air conditioning, telephones or hot food services while floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean. In an effort to improve their living conditions on Tuesday, the Navy provided those stranded with 10,000 pounds worth of foods including bread, crabmeat, Pop Tarts and Spam.

The Splendor originated from Long Beach, California, and was in the first leg of a seven-day trip through Mexico when the fire started. The Coast Guard was able to reach the ship on Tuesday, and the first government vessel to reach the boat will stay with it throughout the duration of the potentially difficult journey back to the states.

"It's a difficult operation anytime tugs get under way to tow such a large ship, there's a lot of people onboard," Coast Guard spokeswoman Pamela Manns told the news source. "Certainly this is unusual for a cruise ship and the size of the cruise ship and the passengers onboard."

According to a statement from Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gary Cahill, the passengers on board the Splendor will be given a full refund as well as a voucher for a free cruise at any point in the future.

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