Ships Collide Off Cuba; 3 Missing

From Associated Press

Three Cuban crewmen were missing and feared dead Friday after their darkened, drifting cargo vessel was cut in two by a cruise liner off the coast of Cuba, shipping and Coast Guard officials said.

None of the 1,500 vacationing passengers and 600 crew members aboard the Miami-based Celebration were injured in the pre-dawn collision, which caused only minor damage to the liner’s port bow.

The 734-foot Celebration rescued 42 of the 45 crew members aboard the Cuban cement hauler Capitan San Luis, including one whose foot was severed in the accident.

“In an interview with the captain of the cruise ship, the second officer aboard the Cuban freighter said that the Cuban vessel had been experiencing electrical problems,” Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Tim Gallagher said. “The electrical problem left the Cuban vessel without navigational lights or steering.”


A Cuban frigate picked up the injured man and 11 other crew members, and a tug was on its way to take the remaining 30 sailors, Coast Guard spokesman Luis Diaz said.

The three missing crewmen included the ship’s captain, Manuel Velazco Morales, 34, of Havana, Cuba’s Prensa Latina news agency reported.