Cape May-Based US Coast Guard Unit Renders Assistance to Crippled Cruise Ship

By Hadas Kuznits

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — A local US Coast Guard team has pitched in to help those cruise ship passengers stranded in the Gulf of Mexico.

When the  Carnival cruise ship Triumph contacted the Coast Guard on Sunday, citing power problems (see related story), the Coast Guard cutter Vigorous, out of Cape May, NJ, happened to be on assignment nearby.

Petty officer third class Ryan Tippets, with the 8th Coast Guard district public affairs office, says the Cape May crew was diverted and called in to help.

“That evening the Coast Guard cutter Vigorous was on scene to assist in any way they could,” Tippets tells KYW Newsradio.

Tippets says they got their chance to help when a Triumph cruise passenger became ill and needed to be transported for treatment.

“The Vigorous launched a small boat from their ship, and they picked up the passenger from the cruise ship and transferred them to another cruise ship,” he said.

In the meanwhile, the ship with its remaining passengers were being towed toward port in Mobile, Ala.

“So it’s 14 miles south of the Mobile sea buoy, and that’s about eight miles away from the pier where it’s going to be mooring up at, so it’s about 22 miles (away),” Tippets told KYW Newsradio.   “I don’t have an estimate on when it’s actually going to dock.  We estimate sometime in the evening, but I don’t have a specific time for you.”

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