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Tug Boats Tow Disabled Cruise Ship Toward Alabama
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Coast Guard says a second tug boat has reached a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico and is helping tow it to Mobile, Ala.
More than 3,000 passengers and a crew of more than 1,000 aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Triumph have had limited services since a fire in an engine room Sunday. The original plan was to tow it to Progreso, Mexico, but currents pushed it north.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm in Houston says the ship was about 270 miles south of Mobile as of Tuesday morning. It is expected to arrive there Thursday.
Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill says in a statement Monday evening that strong currents lead the vessel, the Carnival Triumph, to drift about 90 miles north of its original position off the Yucatan Peninsula, where it was located when the fire erupted Sunday in the engine room. No one was injured and the fire was extinguished.
Cahill's statement says the ship should arrive in Mobile on Thursday and that it will allow for less complicated re-entry for passengers without passports.
Family members of passengers on board the ship in the Gulf of Mexico say their loved ones are trying to take the hot and dirty conditions in stride.
Jimmy Mowlam told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his son Rob and new daughter-in-law got married onboard the Carnival Triumph on Saturday and are among the roughly 3,100 stranded passengers.
He says his son told him by phone Monday night that many passengers are sleeping on deck because the lack of ventilation made it too hot to sleep inside.
He says his son says passengers were mostly "taking it in stride." Other passengers have described more dire conditions, including water and feces on the ship's floors.
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