Update 7: The Carnival Triumph has reached the Alabama Cruise Terminal and passengers are beginning to disembark.
Update 6: The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday that crews have medevaced a female passenger from the disabled Carnival Triumph after she reportedly suffered a stroke on board. The USCG says they took the woman off in a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat — Medium and transported her to Dauphin Island to meet emergency medical services.
The Coast Guard also confirmed that at approximately 12:30 p.m. CST the tug Resolve Pioneer reported a broken tow line and that the tug Roland Falgout had to restore the tow.
At 3 p.m. CST, the Triumph was still about six miles south of the entrance of Mobile Bay. The ship is expected to arrive at the Port of Mobile Thursday evening although the passenger disembarkation process could take several hours.
Update 5: Today’s the big day!
This AIS data screen grab from Portvision shows Carnival Triumph with Resolve Pioneer tug near the entrance to the Mobile Bar Channel at 12:05 CST, Thursday.
In a statement Thursday, Carnival says that local pilots and other officials have boarded the Carnival Triumph and are awaiting entrance into Mobile Bay. “While this trip could be accomplished in about 3 hours with power, under the circumstances today we expect this to take anywhere from 7 – 10 hours,” the statement reads.
Will update again when we have official confirmation that the Carnival Triumph has been brought into the Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile.
UPDATE 4: Carnival Cruise Lines said Wednesday that it has sent a third tug from Port Fourchon, LA to assist in towing the disabled Carnival Triumph to Alabama. The Carnival Triumph is still expected to arrive in Mobile on Thursday, five days after the engine room fire knocked out power and propulsion to the vessel with 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board.
The U.S. Coast says that on Wednesday afternoon a USCG MH-60 helicopter crew transported approximately 3,000 pounds of equipment to the Triumph, including a generator and electrical cables, from the offshore supply vessel Lana Rose.
The ship’s last known location was approximately 108 nautical miles south of the Port of Mobile on Wednesday afternoon.
Carnival says they are mobilizing approximately 200 people to be on the ground in Mobile to support the vessel’s arrival and guests’ travel home. Carnival added that each of the 3,143 guests will receive $500, on top of the previously announced full refund including transportation expenses, reimbursement of all shipboard purchases made during the trip and a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid.
In a separate statement, Carnival announced that they have cancelled 12 additional voyages of the Carnival Triumph from Feb. 21 through April 13, 2013, in addition to the two previously cancelled voyages.
Update 3: The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday launched their investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fire on board the Carnival Triumph that occurred Sunday. The Coast Guard says that since the Carnival Triumph is flagged in the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority will be the primary investigative agency, while the U.S. will participate as a Marine Safety Investigative State.
Update 2: The Carnival Triumph is currently under tow by the Resolve Pioneer (front) and Dabhol.
As far as the conditions on the ship… we’d rather not get into it, but you can read about what some passengers are reporting on USA Today.
Update 1: In a change of plans, Carnival said Monday evening that the Carnival Triumph will be towed to Mobile, Alabama, given the northerly currents and the fact that 900 guests onboard are traveling without passports.
The first of two tugs has arrived on scene, with the second expected Tuesday morning, Carnival said. The ship is expected to arrive in Mobile on Thursday.
Since Sunday, the ship has drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents, the statement added.
Earlier: The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday said the USCGC Vigorous is on scene and maintaining communication with the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship, which is still dead in the water approximately 136 miles north of Merida, Mexico.
As we reported yesterday, the Carnival Cruise ship experienced a fire in the aft engine room while sailing approximately 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula with 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew, causing the vessel to lose power. The ship’s automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was successfully extinguished, without injury to crew or guests.
A statement Monday by Carnival confirmed that the vessel is still without power and awaiting the arrival of two tugboats that will tow the ship to Progreso, Mexico, which is the closest port to the Triumph’s current location. Meanwhile, a team consisting of additional technical crew and guest service personnel is en route to the vessel and is expected to arrive via boat later today, Carnival says.
As for guests services, Carnival says that the ship has maintained emergency generator power since the fire and auxiliary power to operate some basic hotel functions has been restored, including public and cabin toilets in certain sections, power to some elevators, and power in one of the ship’s dining areas which is serving limited hot food service. Yesterday afternoon, the Carnival Elation rendezvoused with the ship and supplied dinners for the guests, along with other provisions. On Monday afternoon, the Carnival Legend is expected to arrive on scene to provide additional provisions.
Carnival has apologized for the incident and said passengers would receive a full credit for the cruise plus transportation expenses and a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage.
The Carnival Triumph departed Galveston, Texas, on Thursday February 7 and was scheduled to return on Monday, Feb. 11. The Triumph’s next two voyages, scheduled to depart Monday, February 11 and Saturday, February 16, have been cancelled.
In November 2010, an engine room fire on board the Carnival Splendor off the Pacific coast of Mexico put the ship out of service months.