Stranded cruise ship passengers from Yonkers finally reach land
A disabled cruise liner inched into San DiegoBay today after three nightmarish days adrift on the Pacific,sparking cheers from passengers who disembarked and describedlimited food, backed-up toilets and dark cabins.
The 4,500 passengers and crew members trickled off slowlythroughout the day, the process slowed by disabled elevators, outof order since the engine room fire Monday that left the shipadrift off Mexico.
Pulled by six tugboats and escorted by Coast Guard cutters, thenearly 1,000-foot Carnival Splendor reached the dock at about 8:30a.m. PST, unable to steer or propel itself.
The first group of passengers walked down a ramp about an hourlater, dragging suitcases behind them and entering a tent on thedock.
The ship left Long Beach on Sunday for a seven-day trip to theMexican Riviera, only to return days early without ever reachingthe beaches vacationers had hoped for. A fire in the engine roomknocked out power Monday morning, leaving passengers with no airconditioning, no hot food, no hot water, no casino. The swimmingpool was off-limits because there was no way to pump chlorine.
A group of 50 Yonkers seniors were aboard the ship on a trip organized by Westchester County Legislator Bernice Spreckman and her husband.
AP wire services were used in this report.
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