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Carnival Triumph breaks from moorings, one worker missing

6:41 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY

The fire-damaged Carnival Triumph suffered additional damage today when it broke free from its moorings at the Alabama shipyard where it is under repair, local news outlets are reporting, and a shipyard worker may be missing.

The Mobile Press-Register reports there appears to be damage on the bow and the stern of the vessel, citing a staff photographer on the scene. Mobile's WKRG-TV reports there is a hole on the right side of the ship's stern.

The Press-Register says the 2,758-passenger Carnival Cruise Lines ship is now wedged against another vessel at Mobile's BAE Systems shipyard.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it is searching the Mobile River for a worker who went missing after the incident. Petty Officer Second Class Bill Colclough told the Associated Press he is unsure of where the worker was before the ship became dislodged.

In a short statement sent to USA TODAY, Carnival blamed strong winds for the mishap, which occurred early this afternoon. The company did not address reports of damage to the ship or the missing worker.

"Due to strong winds in Mobile, Ala., Carnival Triumph, which was docked at a Mobile shipyard, broke away from its moorings," the statement says. "The ship drifted and is currently resting against a cargo vessel. Tug boats and the U.S. Coast Guard are on site."

The U.S. Coast Guard tweeted that high winds are likely to blame for the Triumph becoming loose. The National Weather Service reported winds between 35 and 65 mph blowing through the area.

The Carnival Triumph is in the midst of a 16-week-longer overhaul at the BAE Systems shipyard in the wake of a much-publicized Feb. 10 fire that left the vessel dead in the water in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship's emergency backup power system kicked in but was inadequate to provide passengers with basic services including working toilets, elevators, air conditioning and lighting in many areas. The ship eventually was towed to Mobile.

Carnival already has canceled 24 sailings of the Carnival Triumph, which is scheduled to emerge from the overhaul on June 3.

USA TODAY

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