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Disabled Cruise Ship Pulled Home, Slowly

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Disabled Cruise Ship Pulled Home, Slowly

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Disabled Cruise Ship Pulled Home, Slowly

Disabled Cruise Ship Pulled Home, Slowly

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The Coast Guard is working to help the Carnival Cruise Lines ship that became stranded off the coast of Baja California. A fire in the ship's engine room on Monday cut most of the power, leaving 3,300 passengers and 1,100 crew without air conditioning, hot food or telephone service.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's Carrie Kahn has the story.

CARRIE KAHN: The Carnival Splendor is more than a hundred miles south of San Diego and it will be at least another day before it's pulled into port, says Coast Guard Lieutenant Patrick Montgomery.

PATRICK MONTGOMERY: It's a very long and slow process trying to tug a 952-foot cruise ship up the coast. So it's very difficult to define exactly when it'll be arriving.

KAHN: As the Splendor gets closer to shore, some passengers have been able to make cell phone calls out. One passenger, David Zambrano, who works at Denver's Channel 9 TV station called his employer. He said people are holding up as best as they can.

DAVID ZAMBRANO: The only thing that made it real tough is when the facilities were all broken down and all the bathrooms weren't working and people were starting to get uncomfortable. But now that they've started getting those things going and the water flowing, then that made all the difference.

KAHN: Unidentified Woman: So what in the world are you going to do all day?

(SOUNDBITE OF CARNIVAL CRUISE AD)

KAHN: Unidentified Woman: Go for a swim in one of the pools, check. Catch a live show on the lido deck, check.

(SOUNDBITE OF CARNIVAL CRUISE AD)

KAHN: That's little comfort for Georgette Alvarez, whose sister Vicky is on Carnival Splendor.

GEORGETTE ALVAREZ: I'm really worried about her.

KAHN: She hasn't heard from Vicky yet. And Alvarez says her sister and brother- in-law saved for months to take their first vacation ever.

ALVAREZ: They both scrimped and did side jobs and put a down payment, and just paid, you know, every time she could. And they paid for it and she was ecstatic.

KAHN: Carrie Kahn, NPR News.

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