Post-Katrina lodging ship set adrift in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- A cruise ship providing post-Katrina lodging here broke free from its mooring Feb. 13, sending more than 1,000 New Orleans city workers and their families for a brief ride on the Mississippi River.

Carnival Cruise Lines 855-foot Ecstasy was set adrift about 5:35 a.m. when a metal bollard holding its tie-down lines broke off the wharf in high winds, according to a statement released by Carnival. There were no injuries reported and no damage to the ship, the statement said.

The ship went less than a mile downriver before the captain and crew, with the help of a river pilot who managed to get aboard, dropped the ships anchor and secured its position, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Tugboats returned the ship to its berth.

The ship was secured in about five minutes, said Scott Talbot, an officer at the USCG sector in New Orleans. He added that the crew and river pilots quick response averted a major incident.

The Ecstasy is under charter to the U.S. government and provides temporary housing to New Orleans police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Johanna Jainchill at [email protected].

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