August 26, 2017 / 9:17 PM / a month ago

U.S Coast Guard monitoring stranded cruise ships -chief

HOUSTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring two cruise ships that have been unable to dock due to tropical storm Harvey and is preparing alternative arrangements, one of its commanders said on Saturday in a press conference.

Three cruise ships operated by Carnival Corp carrying about 20,000 passengers have been stranded in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico waiting to dock at Galveston port. Two of them were temporarily diverted to New Orleans on Friday and the third has stayed in Cozumel, Mexico, the firm said.

“We talk daily with the cruise ship operators as well as the city of Galveston and the Galveston Port Authority in order to try to identify opportunities to be able to get these cruise ships in,” said Kevin Oditt, commander of the Coast Guard sector Houston-Galveston.

The Coast Guard unit in Corpus Christi, Texas rescued 15 people from distressed vessels near Port Aransas earlier on Saturday. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Ruthy Munoz; editing by Gary McWilliams and Andrew Hay)

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