For the past two days millions have watched as the cruise ship Carnival Splendor and its 4,400 passengers and crew was left stranded at sea after an engine room fire. As the story unfolds live on international television, the Coast Guard continues to work with the United States Navy and international partners ensuring the ship and all aboard return safely to port.
Without power, propulsion, minimal lighting and approximately 100 miles left to transit home (as of 2:30 p.m. Pacific time), the Coast Guard remains on scene providing aid and security to the Carnival Splendor.
A team from the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau – including a food service specialist, a health service technician and law enforcement officers – boarded the vessel this morning to provide medical assistance, ensure food and water safety and provide general security as the vessel remains under-tow.
Senior Chief Anthony Schell, a food service specialist, was one of the Coast Guardsmen from Morgenthau who went aboard the cruise ship and witnessed firsthand the interaction between the passengers and responders.
“The passengers really seemed to appreciate the fact that the Coast Guard, as well as others, were out here and that we were doing are job to ensure their safety,” said Schell.
Coast Guard assets were the first U.S. responders on scene to assist the Carnival Splendor and will remain aboard the vessel and monitoring from the 11th District Command Center until the ship and her precious human cargo are safely home. In all, three Coast Guard cutters and a long-range patrol aircraft responded to the incident.
“My crew of 165 young men and women and this cutter remain committed to ensuring the cruise ship and all those aboard make it safely back to port,” said Captain Anthony R. Gentilella, the commanding officer of Morgenthau. “The efficient response and coordinated effort between the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy display the agility of the U.S. Armed Forces and the federal government in myriad crises.”