Wrong-Way Ecstasy?

Miami Coast Guard Commander William Uberti confirms to CBS News that he issued an order to stop the Carnival Ecstasy when he saw TV pictures showing a sizable fire aboard the cruise ship.

Uberti says his first offer of help was declined by the ship's captain. But, when the fire seemed to grow in intensity, Uberti invoked a Captain of the Port order requiring the Ecstasy to head for the anchorage at the entrance to the Miami port, CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr reports.

The captain complied and the ship was boarded by five Coast Guard officers who began assessing the extent of the fire, Uberti says. Miami Beach and Metro-Dade firefighters then boarded the ship and assisted Ecstasy crewmembers in fighting the flames.

Uberti says the Captain complied with the Coast Guard order immediately. If the order had not been given, there was nothing to keep the ship from heading to the open seas beyond the three-mile U.S. territorial boundary. No one knows if that was the captain's intention, but as Uberti noted, he did not seem to be stopping.

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