Three years ago this month, the Carnival Elation suffered a problem issue with one of the two units used to propel and steer the cruise ship and had to resort to the use of a tug to make it back to port in New Orleans. That was at a bad time for Carnival. The cruise line was at a low ebb in terms of public relations when four of Carnival's ships, the Triumph, Elation, Dream and Legend, all faltered in the course of a couple of weeks, experiencing propulsion, electrical or mechanical problems at sea.
Last night around 1:45 A.M., the Elation lost power. According to passengers tweeting about the incident, the Elation drifted for an hour in the dark as the ship was heading back to port in Jacksonville.
News4Jax reports that notwithstanding the captain's announcements, "panicked passengers grabbed life vests and ran to the deck." WJXT news reporter Heather Leigh posted photos on Twitter showing cruise passengers descending stairs on the cruise ship with life jackets in their hands.
News4Jax reported that "passengers said that were very concerned and that they never really got an explanation as to what was happening and why."
The news station said that according to the U.S. Coast Guard, "an air compressor went out on one of the air conditioning units. When the crew tried to reset the system, it shorted out the power to the propulsion system. It didn't last longer than an hour and they ended up using power from the emergency generators to get back into port."
Some passengers commented that they smelled something burning on the ship, as mentioned in the video below. Once the power was established back on the ship, it turned on and off repeatedly.
This is the second Carnival owned cruise ship to develop power problems in less than 24 hours. Yesterday evening, the Carnival owned Adonia, operated by Carnival brand Fathom, lost power to its elevator, air conditioning and bathroom systems for 30 minutes. The U.S. Coast Guard ordered it to return to Miami for an inspection.
Photo credit: P. Alejandro Diaz - CC BY 2.5, commons / wikimedia.