SAN DIEGO — Six tug boats pulled a stricken cruise ship to shore this morning amid cheers from a waiting crowd, bringing the nearly 4,500 passengers and crew closer to freedom after three days of limited food, smelly toilets and dark cabins. Moments later, a handful of passengers disembarked.
Escorted by Coast Guard cutters, the nearly 1,000-foot Carnival Splendor reached the dock at about 8:30 a.m. PST.
Seventy-five buses were arriving to drive them north to Long Beach, where the Splendor is based.
Passengers on the decks and about 100 people onshore cheered loudly as the ship reached the dock, while all along the harbor, tourists, joggers and fishermen stopped to snap photos.
“We’re so happy to be getting off. Everybody’s been cheering and clapping,” passenger Sahizah Alim, 26, of Sacramento, said by cell phone.
“It’s been like a nightmare,” she said. “There’s been no food, no power, no electricity, no flushing toilets. I spent the night tossing and turning in my cabin in the dark.”
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