A Fresno woman is stuck at sea just off the coast of Australia after a cruise ship she was on Friday suffered mechanical failures and was set adrift.
The Norwegian Star, a cruise ship of the Norwegian Cruise Line company with a capacity for 2,348 people, is 20 miles off the coast of Melbourne after its propulsion system failed. The ship will be towed and is expected to return to port Saturday afternoon.
Don Smith, who lives in Fresno, said his wife, Nancy, is one of those on board. Don said Thursday night that he had not heard from his wife aside from an email she sent out to let him know the ship had experienced problems.
Jessica Kohler, a spokeswoman for the cruise line, said all guest amenities are still available.
Don Smith said his wife flew earlier in the week from San Francisco to Sydney for the cruise. She was expected to return on Feb. 19. He found an article online in which the Sun Herald, a newspaper in Melbourne, reported the ship’s propulsion system had lost power at Cape Lintrap, near Wilsons Promontory.
On Twitter, where several people mentioned the Norwegian Star’s failure, one user provided a map with a red arrow pointed at the location of the ship and another arrow pointed at a tug boat apparently on its way to the ship. It was credited to a “Marine Traffic” app.
All guests on board were provided a full refund, and 50 percent cruise credit. Kohler said the cruise line is offering guests up to $300 in credit if they wish to disembark immediately when the ship reaches the port.
The spokeswoman said mechanical failures are rare for the ship. Nancy Smith, who is a retired nurse, did not respond to an email for comment Thursday night. She was traveling with a cousin.