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Crippled cruise ship makes slow voyage to San Diego [Updated]

November 10, 2010 |  7:49 am
As the sun rose Wednesday morning, tugboats continued the slow process of pulling the powerless cruise ship Carnival Splendor into San Diego.

The ship that lost power Monday because of an onboard fire is expected in San Diego about midday Thursday. [Updated at 9:40 a.m.: A previous version of this post said the ship would be returning Thursday night, but officials have moved up the time because the operation is running smoothly.]

The Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau, a high-endurance cutter based out of Alameda, is shadowing the 952-foot Splendor on the voyage for safety. The fire knocked out the air conditioning, telephone and hot food service for the more than 4,000 passengers and crew members.

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday airlifted more than 70,000 pounds of food to the ship. Included were bread, canned milk, canned Spam and breakfast treats such as Pop-Tarts.

[Updated at 8 a.m.: The Navy also airlifted plastic utensils and plates, as well as fruit, to the ship.]

The ship also has its own supply of water and cold food. The cruise ship company has promised a full refund to passengers and transportation from San Diego to Long Beach, the ship’s home port.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: A military helicopter brings food and emergency supplies to the Carnival Splendor. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times