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Carnival Cruise ship Splendor: "should not have been damaged to such a degree"

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A week after being towed into San Diego following an on-board fire, the Carnival Cruise ship Splendor has been towed to a local terminal for repairs.

KUSI's Ed Lenderman has the latest.

The Splendor is going to be making San Diego its home for quite some time. Today's departure from the cruise ship terminal, a week to the day after the big ship arrived, hardly had the fanfare of last Thursday. Thousands of passengers disembarking amidst a sea of media after a voyage dubbed by many as the nightmare cruise.

Today, with most of its crew gone, the 113-ton Splendor was towed to the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal for major repairs.

Carnival has hired several local contractors, including BAE Systems to help complete repairs. Ideally, Carnival would have liked to have moved  the ship to a San Diego shipyard, but the yards are all south of the Coronado Bridge and the Splendor at 215-feet in height, was too tall to fit under it.

The repairs are expected to take at least through the end of the year.

We know that investigators from the Coast Guard were already on board the stricken ship when it arrived from its ill-fated Mexican cruise.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it's assisting with the investigation, which is headed up by the Panama Maritime Authority. The Splendor is registered in Panama.
In addition, Carnival has its own team of investigators which includes representatives of the  Splendor's builder, Fincantieri of Italy, as well as engineers and technicians from the international companies that supplied the ship's propulsion and electronics.  

Carnival says the catastrophic failure of virtually every function aboard began when a generator caught fire in the Splendor's aft engine room.

Marine engineers not connected to the investigation, some of whom have spoken to KUSI news, have raised questions about why the ship's auxiliary generators were unable to restore additional power to the Splendor, pointing to some kind of design flaw. Maritime experts say the ship's electrical systems should not have been damaged to such a degree.

The ship is scheduled to resume service in mid-January, another seven-day cruise to Mexico.
But not before the Captain of our port, that's the head of the coast guard here, signs off the Splendor's seaworthiness.

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