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Cruise ship loses power at sea

The MSC Opera, carrying 1,700 passengers and returning from St. Petersburg, experienced electrical problems and lost power in the Baltic Sea.
/ Source: msnbc.com

The England-bound MSC Opera lost power in the Baltic Sea on Saturday. A problem with the electrical panel caused an engine power outage, stranding the ship's 1,716 passengers without lighting, water and access to working toilets.

Reports of an engine explosion were false, said Julianne Carelli, a spokesperson for the cruise line.

The ship left Southhampton, England, on May 7 and stopped in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The 10-day cruise was cut short on Saturday, and the ship was towed to Nynamshamn, a port near Stockholm, Sweden.

MSC said most of the ship's services had been restored by Sunday afternoon and that passengers had been offered a hot breakfast and complimentary beverage service. All passengers will receive a credit voucher for the whole amount of the 10-day cruise. In the meantime, MSC has canceled the ship's scheduled cruise, due to leave Southampton on May 17.

The incident is the latest in a string of power outages on cruise ships.

  • In April, a generator fire stranded the Mexico-based Ocean Star Pacific off the southern Pacific coast. None of the passengers were injured, but the fire forced the evacuation of 515 people by catamaran.
  • Last November, 3,300 passengers were stranded at sea when an engine-room fire cut power to the Carnival Splendor. The ship, which was headed to the Mexican Riviera, was without lights or air conditioning for three days before being towed back to San Diego.