A Carnival cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire broke out this morning, representatives for the cruise line said.
The fire was extinguished aboard the Carnival Triumph this morning and no injuries were reported. The ship, however, lost power and is relying on a back-up generator as it drifts 477 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, Carnival said in a statement.
The vessel is currently without propulsion and the ship is operating on emergency generator power, according to a statement from Carnival. The ship's technical crew has determined the vessel will need to be towed to port. A tugboat is en route to the ship's location and will tow the vessel to Progreso, Mexico, which is the closest port to the ship.
The ship is expected to arrive in Progreso Wednesday afternoon and guests will be flown from there back to the United States, Carnival said.
The Carnival Triumph departed Galveston on Thursday with 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board for a Mexican cruise and was due to return to the port on Monday.
The passengers have been asked to remain in the ship's public areas and open decks for their comfort, and they are being provided with food and refreshments, Carnival said.
"All the passengers are staying in the public areas of the vessel and the open decks, cause there's no air conditioning," Coast Guard Lt. Julio Gonzalez said. "The air conditioning is not working right now."
But he said it appears there is enough food and water for the passengers and crew on board.
"As of right now, it hasn't been a concern for cruise line, for the cruise ship captain or for the company," Gonzalez said.
Passengers aboard the wayward ship will receive a full refund, Carnival said.
Guests booked on the next voyage, scheduled for a Monday departure, have been given the option to cancel and receive a full refund, according to Carnival, or wait for further information.
The Coast Guard is sending a 210-foot cutter to monitor the situation.