MOBILE, Ala. - Four tugboats are currently escorting a stranded Carnival cruise ship into port here, following an engine room fire that has left the 4,200-passenger Triumph without any propulsion. The fire was quickly doused by on board systems Sunday, but the vessel was completely crippled and drifted some 90 miles before a Mexican tug could arrive and provide some stability.
On Thursday afternoon, Resolve Marine Group Inc. COO Farhat Imam told WorkBoat that the tow line to the cruise ship had been disabled on the approach to Mobile Bay and the holding pin and holding arm of the lead tug, Resolve Pioneer, had been damaged. "I had to make a decision, and I made the decision to take the Pioneer off the tow," said Imam. The tug Roland A. Falgout, which had been on the ship's stern, took the Pioneer's position at the head of the tow.
The 5,750-hp anchor-handling tug/supply vessel Resolve Pioneer, based here in Mobile, arrived Monday night and began towing the Triumph to the Port of Mobile. The 207'x40' Pioneer, owned by Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Resolve Marine, has a bollard pull of 80 tons. Yesterday afternoon, Resolve Marine chartered the Roland A. Falgout from Louisiana International Marine LLC, a New Orleans-based operator, to assist the other tugs. Louisiana International subcontracted out the work to Global Towing of Larose, La., the owner of the Falgout.
On Wednesday, a Coast Guard helicopter from Aviation Training Center Mobile delivered a generator and electric cables from Resolve Marine's 96'x24' tug/supply vessel Lana Rose to help provide additional electrical power to the Triumph.
Imam said port pilots called for additional speed once they came aboard the tow. "Normally, when towing off a dead vessel, you have to have some slack in the wire," he said. "The additional speed put more stress on the wire."
The ship was 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula when the incident occurred, leaving only the backup generator available and forcing passengers to wait in long lines for food with limited access to bathrooms.
The tugs are expected to deliver the Triumph to the Post of Mobile late Thursday night.
For a full report on the tugs' current status, watch the CNN report here: