U.S.S. Ronald Reagan to Rendezvous with Cruise Ship

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (www.flickr.com/photos/compacflt/)

The Carnival Splendor (a 952-foot Panamanian-flagged ship carrying 3,299 guests and 1,167 crew members) is currently stranded 130 miles off the coast of Mexico after losing power.

The vessel lost power at approximately 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 8, 2010, following a fire in its aft engine room.  The blaze was extinguished without injury to passengers or crew. However, engineers have not been able to restore power to the ship, which has been operating on auxiliary generators since the fire.  Several key hotel systems, including air conditioning, hot food service and telephones remain out of service.

At the request of the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego, the Navy diverted the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan from training maneuvers to assist the Carnival Splendor.  Earlier Tuesday, the aircraft carrier was receiving by airlift thirty-five pallets (containing 10,000 pounds of food and supplies) for the cruise ship, with which it is scheduled to rendezvous Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, tugboats are en route to the ship to tow the vessel the 130 miles to Ensenada, Mexico and are expected to arrive sometime Tuesday.